Photo credit: The Stevenson Collection/ NBAE/ Getty Images
Constant Beta Motion Picture Company, Creative Control, and Abramorama are joining forces to release a documentary film in February 2018 that will highlight the life and career of the NBA’s first Black player, Earl Lloyd, reports Shadow and Act.
Produced in association with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the documentary, titled “The First To Do It,” will chronicle Lloyd’s journey of growing up in segregated Alexandria, Virginia, to witnessing the first Black president, Barack Obama, take office. The film will also show how the league became what it is today including the fall of the Harlem Globetrotters and the introduction of the current 24-second shot clock. Additionally the film will use the voices of current players like Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, and Chris Paul to discuss America’s history with desegregation and the role basketball has played in inner city communities.
Hall of Fame players Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing, and Bob Lanier will also be featured in the film.
“Being from my generation, it never occurred to me that people like me couldn’t play this game. That’s why it was so important for me to share this history with the younger generations that are coming behind me. We need to understand where we came from,” Shadow and Act reports San Antonio Spurs player Kawhi Leonard saying.
With the current climate of politics, sports, and race, Lloyd’s documentary will serve as the right content for today’s generation.
Photo via: Sports Illustrated
“The story of Earl Lloyd is an important part of the history of professional basketball in the U.S. His achievements and the times in which he lived provide important lessons for players and fans today. Our support of this film reflects our commitment to preserving the legacy of our players and our game, and the positive impacts that both have had on our society,” said Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation
Not only is the film set to be released during Black History Month, but it will also be released in the same month as the late great Earl Lloyd’s birthday, which is February 26.