Sunday, May 20, 2012
Jackie Joyner-Kersee in alien ABC show?
By Lynn Hoppes
Track superstar Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who Sports Illustrated voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century, made a speech last week at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., campus to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
So I stopped her for a few minutes to show her this clip of a new show on ABC this fall.
"Is this the show about the aliens?" Joyner-Kersee said.
The "Neighbors" is a sitcom starring Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito, who move into a gated community in New Jersey filled with aliens. There is Joyner-Kersee. Reggie Jackson. Larry Bird. And even Dick Butkus.
"When I first got this email about the show, I didn't respond for a long time. I didn't know if it were real or not!" said Joyner-Kersee, who made sure to get script approval before agreeing to allow her name to be used. "I guess I'm relevant again!"
She's wrong. Joyner-Kersee has always been relevant since winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the Olympics.
And she's moved back to East St. Louis to give back to the city where it all began. She created the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, which is now under a partnership with the East St. Louis School District. The center houses a gym, classrooms and a health center.
"It was important for me to go back home and show the young people you can make it out of the city and be something," Joyner-Kersee. "I owe it to those people to be there and look them in the eye."