D.C. is the world’s most powerful city.
Politics is the city’s first sport, but basketball is a close second.
Pennington Greene, in collaboration with Metro Teleproductions, Inc., announces the documentary series Supreme Courts: A Century of DC-Area Basketball. Through more than 100 hours of in-depth interviews, the series tells the full and fascinating story of the game’s transformative historic, social, racial, cultural, and athletic impacts on the city, the nation, and the world through the stories of the people who lived it.
Those interviews include such luminaries as DeMatha High coaching legend Morgan Wootten; NBA Hall-of-Famer-turned-Detroit Mayor Dave Bing; Earl Lloyd, the prep star who became the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association; and Ted Leonsis, the Monumental Sports CEO and Washington Wizards owner.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the 12th Street YMCA, the first YMCA for African-Americans, which was designed by African-American architect William Sidney Pittman. From indoor gyms to outdoor playgrounds, the game spread far and wide. Interviewees relate experiences from high school, AAU, college games, and the rough-and-tumble Summer League hardtop classics that spawned future stars and legendary tales. These visual and vocal yarns weave a tapestry that depicts the basketball court as sanctuary, proving ground, and civic mecca amid changing social landscapes. The show creates a narrative archive and a lasting testimonial to the game’s expansive reach.
The producers have received a letter of interest from WETA to screen and incorporate Supreme Courts into its broadcast schedule. In addition, the producers are donating 15 hours of footage to the DC Public Library’s Dig DC, People’s Archive. (If people want to donate footage and photos, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.)
Pennington Greene, executive producer/creative director.
Sprung from the city’s makeshift courts, Greene was an All-Met and All-County basketball player at Parkdale High in Riverdale, Md., and college standout before becoming a basketball historian. He founded the DC Basketball Institute, a nonprofit that preserves the city’s basketball history.
Vinnie Perrone, producer/writer.
Following an 18-year career as sports reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Perrone won the 2008 Eclipse Award for the nation’s best horse-racing feature article and edited the 2011 book A Tainted Legacy: The Policies of Samora Machel in Independent Mozambique. Perrone also co-wrote and co-produced the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary The Bayou: DC’s Killer Joint.
Dave Lilling, consultant/producer.
An Emmy Award-winning television broadcasting professional, Lilling formed Metro Teleproductions in 1989, which specializes in event, multi-camera productions, and streamed one of DC’s first live events, the Washington Area Music Awards, for washingtonpost.com in 1998. He executive-produced and directed The Bayou: DC’s Killer Joint documentary, which aired on MPT, WETA, WHUT and more than 90 public television stations. He has worked for Showtime Sports, CBS Sports, Madison Square Garden Network, Pro Football Hall of Fame, and CBS News.
Bijan C. Bayne
An award-winning member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and regular contributor to Pro Basketball News, Bayne authored a book on DC basketball legend Elgin Baylor and Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball.
Thanks to a generous Oral History Grant from DC Humanities and our 501(c)(3) sponsor Women In Film and Video.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Pennington Greene at 770-374-4750 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Lilling at 301-608-9077 or email@example.com