'Hoop Portraits' Doc Series To Showcase Intimate Portraits Of NC NBA Hopefuls
Photo Credit: Blue Cup Productions
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'Hoop Portraits' Doc Series To Showcase Intimate Portraits Of NC NBA Hopefuls

Partnering with the NBA G League, Blue Cup Productions is premiering its new documentary series, Hoop Portraits. In the first episode, "Two Ways to the League," the series follows the unconventional path of two NBA prospects from North Carolina — Ty-Shon Alexander (Charlotte) and Josh Hall (Durham).

“What attracted us to their story was the inherent tension that would remain present until the moment they received a call that would determine their professional fate. Hearing their name called on draft night was never guaranteed for these players, and that's a story in sports that’s not as often told,” said Taylor Sharp, the director of the series.

Alexander and Hall trained together during the extended NBA pre-draft period, as the draft was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The two worked with NBA player and University of North Carolina star, Jeff McInnis. “This documentary will turn into something really valuable because they’re going to make it, they’re going to be big-time players in the NBA, so this will show people how they got there,” said McInnis.

Alexander signed with Phoenix Suns, while Hall signed with Oklahoma City Thunder, both in two-way contracts. These contracts allow for players to sign with the NBA and continue their development with the G League.

“Your draft status doesn’t matter once the ball gets tipped," added McInnis. "The opportunity in front of them is to play basketball in the NBA —no matter what the contract says, they got one. Now prove that you belong and that you’re there to stay."

According to Blue Cup Productions, "The story sheds light on a growing trend in professional basketball as more elite youth players consider alternative paths to reaching their ultimate goal of playing in the NBA. Josh Hall, who committed to NC State before foregoing college, is the first basketball player since Tracy McGrady in 1997 to go straight to the NBA from a North Carolina high school. Conversely, Alexander decided to make the leap after three productive years at Creighton University."

Sharp and Holland Randolph Gallagher of Blue Cup Productions, a television and film production company based in Durham, North Carolina, produced the series. Sharp also produced Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters, which premiered on NBA TV. Gallagher is the co-creator of Rap Portraits, a documentary series also produced by Blue Cup Productions.

“It’s a rare but thrilling opportunity to witness the most important day in someone’s life; a single moment that represents the culmination of their life’s work up to this point,” Sharp added. “This story was the perfect way to kick off a series that will continue to unearth compelling stories of the human experience to which all viewers can relate.”

The docuseries' first episode will bow on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. and will stream via the NBA Twitch and the G League Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. The premiere will include a screening of the film followed by a Q&A featuring both players and Sharp.

Watch the Hoop Portraits trailer below: