Man-child. If this is not the definition of Brooklyn’s sons, then a meaning doesn’t exist for the borough’s young warriors. New Jersey Nets fans that happen upon Barclays Center next season will feel this in the air if they explore further than the professional court. Born from Brooklyn are numerous urban hoops tales and legends that remain forever young to those that have experienced it first-hand. However, in today’s digital world, concrete proof can be had at the click of a button.
Man-child. If you ever stepped on a court in Brooklyn, you know that the court isn’t the only thing hard and able to put a hurting on you. Get juked and sprain your ankles on a crossover while defending someone with crazy handle and your ego will hurt for days. For both young and old, pride and respect are the main things fought for on Brooklyn’s net-less courts.
Man-child. The fight for respect starts early for ballers and in today’s internet-crazed age, it’s no longer held prisoner to several pairs of eyes and few exclamations of “Daaaaamn.” YouTube is full of dunks launched from the top of the key, dribbling that makes you swear there’s a string on the ball, and millions upon millions of views all to sate a thirst to watch greatness with a basketball.
Man-child is one of those instances of greatness.
Brooklyn filmmaker, Ryan Koo, a Webby Award winner and noted up-and-coming filmmaker is looking to put this tale of a young basketball player that feels the pressure on and off the court to the screen. Check the plot:
An amateur video of 13 year-old Terran “TJ” Jackson playing basketball hits the internet and turns his life upside down. TJ is soon nationally ranked among other 7th graders and declared to be “the next Dwayne Wade” despite being in middle school.
As a result of this exposure, free athletic gear and various hangers-on find their way to the doorstep of his small, predominantly-black Christian school. While TJ navigates the religious curriculum — and simultaneously a sexually active relationship with his girlfriend — he learns about the youth basketball world and the recruiting machine that powers it. With his newfound fame, he must choose between educational institutes, father figures, and belief systems.
A few years from now TJ could be a millionaire, but right now all he has is basketball. It’s a lot for anyone to handle — much less a 13 year-old.
It’s been too long since we’ve seen a basketball film that has the potential to touch us beyond our fandom for basketball. Not since Jesus Shuttlesworth have we seen a glimpse of someone like TJ onscreen. As fans of basketball, and hopefully the various human elements, we need to help Man-child get done. Here’s a Lookbook if you need to see more:
The movie will be funded through Kickstarter, which is a revolutionary website that helps creatives like Koo get their projects done and put forth to and for the masses. Man-child… forgoing the established studio route and doing it on your own. With your help, this celluloid crossover will make you “ooh” and “aah” like anything else you’ve seen on the hardwood.
NOTE: I am not affiliated with the movie in any way, other than being a Kickstarter “backer.”