PREVIOUSLY, June 21: Days after Game 7 of the NBA Finals drew 30 million viewers, Showtime is looking at the league’s near future. The premium cabler today announced One & Done, a feature-length documentary spotlighting Ben Simmons, the likely No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. The 6-foot-10 LSU freshman from Australia met with the Philadelphia 76ers, who hold the top pick, and the team reportedly told him he’ll be their selection:
Showtime is teaming with Maggievision Production on the docu, which will premiere in October, just before Simmons will begin his NBA rookie campaign. It will examine the 19-year-old’s journey from his Aussie upbringing to high school and college in the U.S. to the top of the rookie class in the world’s top basketball league. Simmons looks to fulfill a lifelong dream, one shared by his family — including father David Simmons, a New York City native who played 13 professional seasons in the Australian National Basketball League.
Production on One & Done — led by executive producers Maura Mandt, Dave Chamberlin and Josh Swade — has been underway for two years with exclusive, intimate access to the kid from Melbourne. At the heart of the film is Simmons’ time at Louisiana State University, where he played his “one and done” year in order to satisfy a rule regulating eligibility for the NBA Draft. Production continues this week as Simmons, his fellow NBA prospects and the basketball industry descend on Brooklyn for the 2016 NBA Draft.
“One & Done chronicles a unique and pivotal period in a young man’s life,” said Stephen Espinoza, EVP & General Manager of Showtime Sports. “Over the last year, as Ben Simmons has transitioned from teenager to young adult, he has also transitioned from the relative anonymity of a supremely talented high school player to the national and international limelight of the exclusive fraternity of top NBA draft picks. Ben Simmons is navigating a path that, although dreamt of and aspired to for a lifetime, remains uncertain.”
Mandt and Swade are directing One & Done. They collaborated on the ESPN 30 for 30 docu There’s No Place Like Home, about the quest to return James Naismith’s original rules of basketball to Lawrence, KS, where the sport’s inventor coached and taught for more than 40 years.
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