By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]
Kevin Durant may be on the sidelines of the NBA Finals at this point, but he and his D.M.V. teammate Quinn Cook are still carrying the mantle for basketball in this area. With local filmmaker Jimmy Jenkins, this version of a big three is set to chronicle the stories of the hardwood where the impact of Prince George’s County is undeniable.
Jenkins announced that he is teaming with the two Golden State Warriors stars to produce a documentary for the Showtime TV Network, which should air sometime this fall. The young filmmaker shared this news as he accepted his Community Service Award from the D.C. Pigskin Club of Washington’s 2019 Spring Sports Banquet.
The project’s working title is right now is “Basketball County: A People’s History of Hoops and it’s Hotbed” and will be the second documentary project the two time NBA world champion has produced. For Jenkins, this collaboration is his first foray into documentary filmmaking.
“It’s different when making a documentary,” Jenkins told the AFRO while in Oakland, California with Cook during the NBA Finals. “I still want to tell the stories about the community where I’m from in Prince George’s County.”
Jenkins, the son of Pastor John Jenkins of First Baptist Church of Glenarden, recently debuted his first feature length film “Sinners Wanted”. The movie, produced with his brother Joshua for their independent film label The C.R.E.W., is the story of a young vibrant minister from Atlanta, who relocates to Washington, D.C., for an opportunity to become pastor of a church. He learns the lessons of unconditional love by falling in love with a prostitute who drops into his life after she bursts through the church doors on the first night of his installment service.
Earlier this year, Durant was the subject of an ESPN Sports Center feature story that focused on the impact of his Prince George’s County based Durant Center in Suitland, where he grew up. The seven-minute feature was the first time that the reclusive NBA superstar revealed his personal side and philanthropic efforts in his community. That story focused primarily on where he was raised and how his foundation is providing education opportunities for kids after high school in what is considered to be a dangerous neighborhood.
The two time NBA Finals most valuable player has also begun to diversify his portfolio of off the court projects, that include acting and filmmaking in his own right. Prior to the start of this year’s NBA series Durant’s first produced documentary aired on the Fox Sports 1 network.
“Q Ball,” was directed by accomplished documentary producer Michael Tolajian, who has chronicled basketball’s effect on the world for ESPN’s “30 for 30 franchise. The project was part of Fox Sports’ “Magnify” series of feature-length documentaries.
Durant’s entry into documentary filmmaking is mostly set inside San Quentin State Prison, where it follows two members of the prison’s basketball team on their personal journeys to rehabilitation through the game as well as the team’s head coach, a convicted murderer, who works to prepare players for their return to the outside world.
The documentary on Prince George’s County basketball is a collaboration between he, Cook and several other current NBA stars including DeMatha alumni and NBA all star Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, who is also listed as one of the executive producers as well.
The interview subjects featured will represent the legacy of basketball from Prince George’s County over the last half century. Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley and Maryland legend Walt Williams are among those who will featured when the film is expected to debut this fall.