Russell Westbrook and his Zero World Media, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens’ Propagate Content, and The Black Fives Foundation will team for a documentary highlighting the pre-NBA history of Black basketball players.
According to Deadline, the new film will highlight the Black Fives Era, a period from 1904 to 1950, when the game was introduced to Black schoolchildren and led to the NBA first signing Black players.
“Fives” is a term that referenced starting five players on the court and popularized the sport across the country. Black Fives Ear teams would play in locations like church basements and ballrooms, due to not having access to white-only gyms. Those venues the Black fives played in doubled as venues for music, social events, and more.
“I’m excited to work with Propagate and The Black Fives Foundation on this project,” Westbrook said. “This subject is obviously very personal to me for a number of reasons. These teams helped break racial and societal barriers and paved the way for the game and the NBA as a whole. These stories deserve to be told and I’m proud of Zero World Media’s involvement.”
You can read more about the development of the series here.