Disney XD has teamed with ESPN to uncover sports’ biggest myths and mysteries, in the series “Disney XD ESPN Sport Science,” premiering Saturday, September 29 at 11:00 am ET/PT on Disney XD. Hosted by John Brenkus and Leo Howard, black belt martial artist and star of Disney XD’s hit series “Kickin’ It,” the short form series brings together professional athletes in state-of-the-art scientific facilities to test the limits of human athletic abilities, while challenging popular assumptions about athletes and sports.
Combining the best segments of ESPN’s Emmy Award-winning series “ESPN Sport Science,” each episode will feature three segments, with Brenkus and Howard using scientific experiments to test topics, including laws of gravity, momentum, size, speed, skill and stamina.
The series features appearances by NBA stars Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers) and JaVale McGee (Denver Nuggets); NFL stars Vernon Davis (San Franciso 49ers), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions) and Brandon Jacobs (San Franciso 49ers); former MLB star and current ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra; soccer star Zach Thornton; snowboarders Shaun White and Sage Kotsenburg; skateboarder Bob Burnquist; skier Simon Dumont; Olympic softball player Danielle Lawrie and NCAA basketball player Brittney Griner (Baylor Lady Bears).
In the premiere episode, “Full Contact, MLB Vision, Flips & Spins,” hosts Brenkus and Howard test the impact of a 300-pound heavy bag and showcase how San Francisco 49er Vernon Davis manages incoming forces to block, catch and run; Howard tries to hit a 90-mph fastball and MLB batting champ Nomar Garciaparra tests the reality of keeping an eye on the ball; Howard tries on special eye tracker glasses and investigates how free style skier, Simon Dumont, keeps track of which end is up while flipping in mid-air.
In an expansion of Disney XD’s ongoing “TRYit” initiative designed to inspire kids to get up, get outside and try something new, professional sports stars: the NFL’s Arian Foster (Houston Texans), the WNBA’s Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and the NBA’s Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) coach young stars Leo Howard and Olivia Holt (“Kickin’ It”), Billy Unger and Spencer Boldman (“Lab Rats”) and Doc Shaw and Adam Hicks (“Pair of Kings”) who team with three viewers (hailing from Georgia, Oregon and Texas) to compete in fun challenges that will test their skills and their teamwork, in Disney’s “TRYathlon” special premiering Monday, August 13 at 8:00 pm ET/PT Disney XD. The special is hosted by Hal Sparks and Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).
Disney XD’s “TRYathlon” is part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living, a program that inspires kids and families to lead healthier lifestyles by making nutritious eating and physical activity simple and fun.
David Levine, Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide, said, “Our Disney XD stars are trying something new – a triathlon with a twist — to encourage young viewers to get active and to challenge themselves.”
On DisneyXD.com/TRY, users can participate in the “TRYit Challenger” where kids and parents can pledge to challenge themselves in new ways such as trying a new dance move or a swim stroke or adding a piece of fruit to a meal. Kids and parents are encouraged to participate to help the campaign reach one million pledges.
Beginning Tuesday, July 31, a new “Summer TRYathlon Mash-up” game will launch on DisneyXD.com where players can create their own game by choosing from equipment and a playing fields. Kids can practice with the online version and then print and take the instructions to the playground to play with their friends.
The “TRYathlon” teams are:
Team “Kickin’ It”
Leo Howard and Olivia Holt with Texas fan Nick Carew and coach Arian Foster.
Team “Lab Rats”
Billy Unger and Spencer Boldman with Oregon fan Jenna Hoiland and coach Candace Parker.
Team “Pair of Kings”
Doc Shaw and Adam Hicks with Georgia fan St. Clair Duberry and coach Kevin Love.
Filmed at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California, the special is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions. Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Scott Freeman, Jeff Schmidt and Brandon Wilson serve as executive producers.