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).
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.
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: