The film explores how Prince George’s County in Maryland, Durant’s hometown, has recently produced more elite basketball players than anywhere else in the world. The documentary premieres on SHOWTIME on Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
From EPs Kevin Durant & Rich Kleiman, #BASKETBALLCOUNTY: In The Water tells the story of Prince George’s County, MD & its cultural evolution through the lens of some of the game's biggest stars.
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) April 1, 2020
“This is a project that is near and dear to my heart,” said Durant. “Having grown up in Prince George’s County and with my family residing there today, it’s my life’s mission to not only give back through my foundation but continue to tell the amazing stories of those that have come from there. I’m really excited to be partnering with SHOWTIME and for fans to hear from some of the world’s best players about what PG County means to them.”
The county is also famous for the Gary Russell brothers — three professional boxers and a WBC championship all in PG County.
SHOWTIME, the premium cable programming provider, knows a great story when it hears one.
“We are thrilled to work with Kevin and Rich on a project that is so deeply personal to one of the sport’s biggest stars,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Kevin has opened up his heart and his mind, and that of his mentors and contemporaries, to reveal the roots of greatness. In doing so, he and his team have uncovered an extraordinary social and cultural phenomenon unique to Prince George’s County. This is a fascinating story.”
May 15th, bringing PG County to the world https://t.co/XZbcLj3o8z
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 1, 2020
The storytelling of the social, economic and cultural evolution of the area comes from Victor Oladipo, Michael Beasley, Quinn Cook, Rebekkah Brunson, Marissa Coleman, KD and many more. Since 2000, the county just outside the nation’s capital has spawned some 25 NBA players, more than a dozen WNBA players, and countless more who have competed at elite universities.
This highlights the decades-long prevalence of basketball within a region of roughly 800,000 residents.
The doc also chronicles key moments in basketball’s history. From James Naismith’s invention of the sport to the emergence of the “Father of Black Basketball,” Edwin B. Henderson.
Also, how the migration of African-American families from Washington D.C. to the suburban county became fertile ground for many of basketball’s best players. Players like 2017 No. 1 NBA draft pick Markelle Fultz, five-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson and Naismith Hall of Fame inductees Morgan Wootten and Adrian Dantley share their personal stories about the rich legacy of the county’s basketball programs and mentors that fueled their rise.
“Kevin and I are looking to tell compelling stories with sports at the forefront of every Thirty Five Ventures media project, and BASKETBALL COUNTY exemplifies that,” added Kleiman. “Through the voices of nearly a dozen former and current professional basketball players from Prince George’s County, fans will learn how important basketball is to the area and how it’s impacted the game itself.”