"E:60": Brian Kajiyama, The First Family Of Drag Racing And Missouri's Jeremy Maclin

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E:60 Features on the Sept. 30 (7pm ET) edition of ESPN’s sports newsmagazine series E:60:

Brian Kajiyama’s “Heart of a Warrior”: Brian Kajiyama was born with cerebral palsy, which stripped him of his ability to speak and confined him to a wheelchair. However, his affliction has never been an impediment for the Hawaii native. Instead, it has propelled him to break as many barriers as possible. As a boy, he dreamed of playing football for the University of Hawaii Warriors. And while he knew this would never happen, Brian did become the team’s biggest fan. By the time he was a student at the university, he was not only at every home game but every practice, rain or shine, sitting in his wheelchair on the sidelines. Everything changed for Kajiyama in the summer of 2005 when a new coach for the Hawaii defense, Jeff Reinebold, noticed Brian watching practice and introduced himself. Reinebold and Brian developed a deep friendship and soon Brian was helping the Warriors prepare scouting reports on their opponents. In 2007, Kajiyama was named a graduate assistant football coach for the team by then-head coach June Jones and helped the Warriors go on to become the only undefeated team in Division I in the 2007 regular season. When June Jones and Jeff Reinebold accepted coaching positions at SMU in Dallas, Brian, now a doctorate student, thought he would continue as the team’s graduate assistant. All of that changed this fall when he was removed. E:60 correspondent Lisa Salters tells the story of Kajiyama’s “Heart of a Warrior.”

The Forces: John Force is the Richard Petty of Funny Car — winning an unprecedented 14 championships. His daughter Ashley is a rising star on the circuit. She not only blazes down the track at over 300 mph, she was voted AOL Sports’ “Hottest Athlete for 2007.” Ashley’s two younger sisters, Brittany and Courtney, are following in her footsteps racing in the NHRA development series. E:60 correspondent Michael Smith explores how this first family of drag racing has been shaken to the core by tragedy, and why John Force is re-evaluating his legacy and the wildly popular Ashley is uncertain about her future as a driver.

Jeremy Maclin:  Missouri All-America all-purpose threat Jeremy Maclin exploded onto the college football scene in 2007 as one of the most exciting players in the country. As a freshman last season, he scored 16 touchdowns in four different ways (receiving, running, kick return and punt return), helping Missouri win 12 games. Ask Jeremy Maclin about his college success and he won’t talk about being an All-American. He doesn’t even dwell on his NCAA record for all-purpose yardage, the record that used to belong to Herschel Walker. Instead, Maclin will talk about unity, trust and sacrifice, the same lessons he learned as a boy who needed two families to become a man. Growing up in a tough neighborhood in St. Louis, Maclin and his two older brothers were raised by their hard-working single mom. His brothers’ exodus to college and work, combined with growing tension between Jeremy and his mother, pushed Jeremy down a bad path in high school. Helped by a white family he moved in with in his junior year as well as his biological African-American family, Jeremy Maclin turned his life around and has established himself as one of the best players in the country, reports ESPN The Magazine’s Jeffri Chadiha.

About Ryan Berenz 2126 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife