Derek Luke On How His New Disney+ Basketball Drama Provides A Coming-Of-Age Story Without Limited Narratives
Photo Credit: Shadow and Act
Interviews , Television

Derek Luke On How His New Disney+ Basketball Drama Provides A Coming-Of-Age Story Without Limited Narratives

The Crossover isn’t your average coming-of-age story.

In fact, the new Disney+ series, centered around basketball, family, and even growing pains, goes beyond the narrative of just following teens as they prepare for adulthood. The Crossover also manages to pull on a few heartstrings along the way.

“First, I’d like to acknowledge Kwame Alexander for creating a world and a story and being relentless to studios to produce the story,” Derek Luke, who portrays Chuck Bell, a retired basketball player and the ultimate father to twin sons in the show, Jordan “J.B.” and Josh “Filthy” Bell, told Shadow and Act. “Because of him we’re here and I know storytellers have said that, but by him being relentless, this story is in the right time, with the right cast, saying the right thing and doing the right thing.”

He continued, “I grew up watching coming-of-age stories, but it wasn’t until I got to be older that I realized that there were limited narratives where I thought I saw kids like me. I love that basketball is a part of the theme because basketball is not Rucker Park, it’s a global sport and now we’re getting to see a family behind that sport.”

His hope is that The Crossover becomes one of those age-defining stories that is accepted and loved across the globe.

Furthermore, the series highlights the importance of the Black family with Chuck Bell described as the soul and the mother, portrayed by Sabrina Revelle, serving as the brains, and their sons are the heart.

Luke’s character experiences a lot of changes throughout the course of the season, from his approach to raising his children, how he shows up as a husband to his wife and even the ways in which he takes care of himself following a health scare. The Antwone Fisher star gave insight into the nature of his role.

“Chuck Bell is a former pro basketball player, he coaches his son’s basketball team,” said Luke.

“What I love about him, is he’s also a present dad so there’s a lot of family dynamics that are happening,” he explained. “One of the hurdles for Chuck Bell is not so much coaching others, but learning how to coach himself. So the [story] arc really goes from him coaching everyone else and now him needing to be coached.”

The Crossover is now available for streaming on Disney+.