EXCLUSIVE: Newly launched RTG Features, the sister studio to basketball media company SLAM, has set one of its first projects, co-financing and co-producing a documentary about Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson, who died in August at age 78.
Kirk Fraser, whose credits include ESPN 30 for 30’s Without Bias, is directing the docu and will also produce under his May 3rd Films banner. Jimmy Jenkins (Showtime’s Basketball County: In the Water) and Ronny Thompson, the son of Coach Thompson, will also produce.
Thompson spent almost 30 years as the coach of Georgetown’s men’s basketball team, leading them to three Final Four appearances and one national championship. In 1984, he made history as the first Black head coach in college basketball to lead his team to an NCAA Division I title. The legendary coach was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and was a pioneer credited with opening the door for a generation of African-American head coaches.
“The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team shaped a major part of Black American culture in the 1980s,” said Fraser. “Coach John Thompson represented Black Excellence and that is what he brought out of those men on and off the court.”
Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning are among the future NBA all-stars who played under Thompson. The film will feature interviews with former players, journalists, influential leaders and D.C. icons, as well as the last interviews Thompson ever gave.
“As a Georgetown alumnus, I couldn’t be more excited for our team to get behind this project,” said Matt Aronson, President of JDS Sports, the parent company of RTG and SLAM. “It represents exactly the kind of high-quality storytelling we want to finance and develop at RTG Features.”
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