Kevin Durant is one of the powerhouse executive producers behind Showtime's upcoming documentary Basketball County: In The Water. The film debuts on Showtime May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Directed by Maryland natives John Beckham and Jimmy Jenkins in their directorial debut, the film takes a look at how one county in Maryland has become one of the biggest producers of NBA talent. According to the official description:
"A fascinating examination of a remarkable community, BASKETBALL COUNTY: In The Water tells the story of Prince George’s County, Md., and its social, economic and cultural evolution through the lens of some of the game’s biggest stars—Durant, Victor Oladipo, Michael Beasley, Quinn Cook, Rebekkah Brunson, Marissa Coleman 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, highlighting the decades-long prevalence of basketball within a region of roughly 800,000 residents.
BASKETBALL COUNTY: In The Water chronicles key moments in basketball’s history – from James Naismith’s invention to the emergence of the “Father of Black Basketball,” Edwin B. Henderson, and the migration of African-American families from Washington D.C. to a suburban county that became fertile ground for many of basketball’s best players. Legends of the game including 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."
Durant and sports business exec Rich Kleiman, founder of Thirty Five Ventures, executive produce with NBA stars Oladipo and Cook.
“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.”
“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,” Kleiman said. “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.”
Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Networks Inc.'s president of sports and event programming, said the network is "thrilled" to work with Durant and Kleiman "on a project that is so deeply personal to one of the sport’s biggest stars.”
“Kevin has opened up his heart and his mind, and that of his mentors and contemporaries, to reveal the roots of greatness," he said. "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.”
Photo: Thirty Five Ventures