Modesto Junior College English professor Sam Pierstorff is one step closer to national TV fame, well, at least his family is.
Earlier this year Pierstorff was invited back to compete on the hit reality series “American Ninja Warrior.” The results of how people did on the grueling obstacle course are being kept secret, as are who the NBC series will highlight in its qualifying rounds. But a new spot released to promote the show’s upcoming ninth season shows Pierstorff’s family cheering him on. The Modesto family traveled down to Southern California to watch Pierstorff compete in the Los Angeles regionals March 7.
His wife Ruhi Sheikh, and three children — Hakeem, 14, Ameena, 11, and Deen, 8 — are shown wearing custom-made “Ninja Poet” T-shirts and holding a sign in the 40-second spot. They can be seen at the 5-second mark. Pierstorff, who is the former Modesto poet laureate and founder of The Ill List and Slam on Rye poetry shows locally, is not shown in the preview.
This is Pierstorff’s second shot at “American Ninja Warrior” glory. He was selected to compete on the show’s sixth season in 2014, but failed to complete the course in his opening run. He also didn’t make the television cut that year.
But this time the inclusion of a clip of Pierstorff’s family has given him hope he could be featured this year. “American Ninja Warrior” returns at 8 p.m. June 12 on NBC.