Brooklyn has always produced the best basketball players, but what does it really take for a Brooklyn kid with hoop dreams to “make it”?
When a naturally talented player like Isaiah Whitehead is playing at a historic basketball high school like Lincoln, the expectations are nearly set in stone, “Get to the NBA.”
For his three senior class teammates, nothing is set and there is no stone.
Brooklyn legends of the past, those who essentially defined the way that the game is played and viewed, detail what it took for them to make it (or not) besides just god-given talent. John Salley, Fly Williams, Albert King, Pearl Washington, Lenny Wilkens, and a team of others, take us on a Kings County trip declaring what makes the borough that they’re from so special, while four Lincoln High seniors embark on their senior seasons and transition to college life.
“What makes a player a Brooklyn basketball player special.”
What started out as a journey about one player quickly turned into a story about all the players, and what it means to be a "brooklyn basketball player". Shortly after production began and into the 2013 season, it was clear that it was more than simply Isaiah and his promise and potential. Once that history of brooklyn basketball began to protrude immensely, alongside the prominent history of Lincoln high, Isaiah's teammates and their stories became too important and interesting to forgo, the narrative took shape around all four of the seniors and where they would ultimately move forward to.
The concept of "making it" came out of multiple interviews and conversations and research, and ultimately became our mission statement for following all 4 teammates through their final senior season at Lincoln. The realization that former Brooklyn Greats should be our narrators came shortly thereafter.
I wanted to explore the reason for Brooklyn's relationship to the game of basketball and what exactly that sport has provided in order for Brooklyn to be “it's own universe.” While there is a one mega-hyped player who is that next prodigal son of brooklyn basketball, the overarching attempt is to survey the journeys of the less-hyped teammates and what 'making it' means to them.
Brooklyn Basketball is a non-profit, education documentary film.
JACK "BLACK JACK" RYAN
DWAYNE "PEARL" WASHINGTON
JAMES "FLY" WILLIAMS
JOHN "SPIDER" SALLEY
DEWAYNE "TINY" MORTON
ANTHONY AJ WILLIAMS
MIKE "THE VOICE" WASHINGTON