Constant Beta Motion Picture Company, Creative Control and Abramorama will collaborate on the theatrical distribution of “The First to Do It,” a documentary about the life and times of Earl Lloyd, the first Black American to play in the NBA.
The film brings together current basketball players including Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul, as well as Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing and Bob Lanier. Dean Cole provides the voice of Lloyd.
Abramorama is planning a wide theatrical release in February 2018. “The First to Do It” is produced by Arka Sengupta and executive produced by Michael Finley, Tony Parker, Anthony, Leonard, PJ Tucker, Harry I. Martin, Amit Sharma, Jason Cole, David T. Friendly, Jack Lechner, Michele Roberts and Chrysa Chin.
“The story of Earl Lloyd is an important part of the history of professional basketball in the US. His achievements and the times in which he lived provide important lessons for players and fans today. Our support of this film reflects our commitment to preserving the legacy of our players and our game, and the positive impacts that both have had on our society,” said Sherrie Deans, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation.
“Being from my generation, it never occurred to me that people like me couldn’t play this game. That’s why it was so important for me to share this history with the younger generations that are coming behind me. We need to understand where we came from,” said Leonard, of the San Antonio Spurs.
“The First to Do It” recounts Lloyd’s journey from growing up in deeply segregated Alexandria, Virginia, to witnessing the first black President of the United States. The film also tells the story of how the modern game of basketball was formed.