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Fathers Of The Sport


Fathers of the Sport is a Feature Documentary and Companion DVD Library Series (Vol. 1-3) which uncovers the colorful and compelling history of legendary playground basketball. Produced by Providence Films and directed by Xavier Mitchell, it will chronicle the history and lives of the many “legends” and unsung heroes who dominated playground basketball courts of New York, Philly, DC, and Chicago in the early years and consequently turned it into the multi-billion dollar spectator sport it is today. With images, music, and footage from the 60’s and 70’s, Fathers of the Sport tells the story of an American social culture embedded with racism, war, oppression, and poverty where these asphalt warriors escaped and rose above it all with a mutual love and respect for the game that many feel has been lost on today’s players.

Fathers Of The Sport will refer to the heartfelt devotion of sport displayed by players of yesterday compared to today’s star driven talented young players. Their talents and skills made them aspire to become some of the most recognized and influential basketball players ever. In return for their contributions, Fathers of the Sport will enlighten the world to the game’s legendary origins in playground basketball which transcended onto the courts of the NBA and into the hearts and lives of an infinite number of fans.

Schooled on urban courts across America, self-trained athletes brought style to an NBA that sorely lacked excitement and retail entertainment value. The playground’s convergence with the NBA was a major turning point in the history of basketball – the game was forever changed. The legacy of these playground athletes is seen in all aspects of professional basketball today. Fathers Of The Sport pays homage to it’s urban playground roots.

From Rucker Park to The Baker League and beyond, these legendary players’ courage, fire and on-court determination will be translated into a celebration of their accomplishments. The participation of basketball legends such as Joe “Jellybean” Bryant (Associate Producer), Lucius Allen (President-NBA’s Retired Players Association of LA) and other basketball “royalty” provide extraordinary strength in regards to validity and access into the worlds and lives of the very players this documentary focuses and relies on for it’s history telling abilities. Fathers Of The Sport will be the most historical and honest account of the origin and history of playground basketball ever produced.

Antoine Yates is TIGERMAN. There are thousands of articles regarding him on the internet. The media has run countless stories on him. Antoine Yates, a soft-spoken animal enthusiast, has undoubtedly shocked the world.

Since the age of three Antoine’s enthrallment with animals has been a mystery. With his first animal being a teddy bear hamster, Antoine’s desire for large, exotic animal companionship would soon row to unimaginable heights. When children his age pleaded for fire engines, young Antoine requested lizards. As he grew older his peers longed for fancy cars and designer clothes, but the benevolent Antoine was content with monkeys.

One might consider this fascination odd; what inspires him most is the company of animals. Antoine has trained and befriended an incredibly compelling array of animals including snakes, bears, alligators, lions, monkey, tigers and more. His experience far exceeds that of any typical animal trainer.

Who would have known such a mild mannered, unassuming guy would be the owner of Harlem’s biggest and best kept secret – MING, a three years old, 450 lbs., Siberian Bengal Tiger.

Tigerman, goes behind the headlines to reveal the full story of Antoine Yates, Ming and the “attack”. October 3 rd, 2003 is the day many will recall as the day Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy was attacked on stage by his tiger in Las Vegas. For Antoine Yates October 3 rd, 2003 is a date he too remembers. Same day, at approximately the same time, same species of tiger, two very different types of owners, two bites with two drastically different results.

In Tigerman, Antoine Yates reveals his secret methods, enabling millions will bear witness as to how this modern day Doctor Doolittle, Antoine Yates, accomplished the impossible. One might even say that Ming is the first cat to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

An African American woman recollects secrets her family history told to her as a child about a man named “Hoover”. She reveals facts and documents to raise the question of Hoover’s ancestry as we parallel the lives of 2 relatives who never met. She reveals the secret he never thought would be told…was the world’s most powerful man and highest-ranking government official who oppressed blacks, a black man himself?