IOWA CITY — BTN will devote about 10 minutes of its next segment of ‘The Journey” to the story of former Iowa basketball player Chris Street, who was killed in a car accident 20 years ago.
A BTN television crew spent part of last week at the Street household in central Iowa talking with Street’s parents, Mike and Patty. The images from Street’s family home are striking, said Bill Friedman, coordinating producer in charge of BTN Original Production.
“One of the shots that really struck me in there is what looks like a pair of game-worn sneakers in the black and gold just sitting there waiting for someone to step into them,” Friedman said. “It’s an incredibly sad image, but an incredibly powerful one at the same time. It shows how the memory of Chris has continued.”
“The Journey” is BTN’s highest-rated original program. This is the fourth season the 30-minute weekly documentary series features Big Ten basketball. It added a football version last fall. The latest installment airs at 7 p.m. Sunday. Some web-only content will be available at www.btn.com after it airs.
Iowa honored Street on Jan. 19 — the 20th anniversary of his death — by wearing special patches and warm-up T-shirts. Iowa beat Wisconsin 70-66 that night, and the team awarded the game ball to Street’s family. “The Journey” was allowed to cover the post-game locker-room scene.
“To see the interaction between them and the team I think is kind of a neat way to end this chapter, this telling of the story,” Friedman said.
The story should resonate with Iowa fans if it resembles a segment last year when Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard received an unannounced visit from his older brother. Bailey Leonard was stationed overseas in the military and was like a father figure to Meyers.
Bailey Leonard alerted Illinois officials he wanted to surprise Meyers, and the BTN was alerted to arrive for that moment.
“The surprise was Bailey’s request,” Friedman said. “I can assure you it was not Big Ten Network’s request.”
The moment captured Meyers Leonard in shock and in tears within seconds. If the Street segment compares, it will bring out similar emotions Sunday night.
Follow “The Journey” on Twitter: @BTN Journey. Here’s a clip of the segment on Chris Street:
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