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From Delta to Detroit

Johnny Kane grew up in Fulton County and credits his freshman English teacher with pushing his interest in journalism
Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 11:33 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A familiar face to Detroit sports fans took a long road to the Motor City.

That road extends from Hopkinsville, Ky., to Topeka, Kan., Kansas City and now Detroit.

When you turn on the Detroit Pistons television broadcasts, you will find Johnny Kane holding the microphone.

“It’s the first time since I’ve been an adult where I’ve actually had to slow down,” Kane said. “Not that I was ever taking it for took it for granted before, but you always went to work. You always had games, you always worked around the clock.”

During the summer, you can also see Johnny across Interstate 75 at Comerica Park during the Detroit Tigers games on FOX Sports Detroit.

Coincidentally the road splitting these two venues leads us back toward where all of this begins for Johnny Kane.

“It’s spur of the moment,” Delta High School English teacher Renee Kane tells her class. “Someone just says, ’Hey you come on up here and say something,’” as she explains elements of public speaking.

Mrs. Kane’s family has no relationship to Johnny.

“He was always energetic. He would always kind of go outside the box for things. We do vocabulary quizes, tests. What he would do on his own make up little stories or little songs to go along with the words that were in the lesson. So that was his way to remember them.”

“I’ve always had an affinity for the language,” Johnny Kane said. “I always try to learn new words. You would think my vocabulary would be better. The way that (Renee Kane) portrayed the subject matter, she was relatable.”

Not only did Mrs. Kane have Johnny and some of his four siblings in English class, she had his nephew as a student last school year.

“It makes me really happy to see someone moving ahead and not just say, ’I’m from a small town so I’m just going to stay there and not advance myself,’” Renee Kane said. “Because I think it is difficult to move away from here where everybody knows everybody.

Johnny Kane says growing up in a village of about 3,000 people sticks with him as FOX Sports Detroit’s village covers Michigan, Northwest Ohio and a small slice of Indiana.

“You do feel as though there is a sense of responsibility of I want to do this well enough to where everybody who watches at home can say, ’Hey, I know that guy’ or ’My brother went to school with that guy.’”

As Johnny Kane continues to interject his humor into his reports with the vocabulary he learned in Mrs. Kane’s class, the humor does not fall far from the unofficial family tree.

“No relation what-so-ever,” Renee Kane said. “But we can always pretend so he can send me some Pistons tickets.”

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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