Documentary Focuses on the Life and Career of Basketball Star Sheryl Swoopes, From Her Professional Triumphs to Her Personal Struggles
The next film in ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX series, Swoopes, will premiere on Tuesday, July 30, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film, directed by sports broadcaster and filmmaker Hannah Storm, tells the story of the one and only Sheryl Swoopes, women’s basketball star. The film chronicles Swoopes’ life and career, focusing on her many triumphs and trophies, her transition from the court to coaching the women’s basketball team at Loyola University, and one of her greatest personal challenges — her 2005 decision to come out as gay.
On the court, she was often considered nearly as dominant as Michael Jordan, winning a national championship with Texas Tech, three Olympic gold medals, three MVP awards and four consecutive championships with the Houston Comets of the WNBA, the league she helped start. She even had a Nike shoe named after her, the Air Swoopes. Off the court, she has had a life full of transitions. She gave birth to her son, Jordan, during the inaugural season of the WNBA. Later, she divorced her high school sweetheart and became the highest-profile athlete in her sport to acknowledge she was gay.
She has struggled with love, money and personal identity, but has never lost her spirit. In this portrait, viewers will meet someone who is not an everyday superstar, but a woman who has defied a multitude of labels.
Director Hannah Storm is an award-winning producer, director and journalist and a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting for women. Following a passion to direct and produce films, in 2008 Storm created Brainstormin’ Productions. Since its launch, Storm has directed, produced and executive produced several films and digital series for television and the web.
The remaining four films in the Nine for IX series on ESPN will air 8 p.m. ET as follows (Digital screeners available upon request):
August 6: The Diplomat
August 13: Runner
August 20: The 99ers
August 27: Branded
Films that have already aired in the series are Venus Vs., Pat XO, Let Them Wear Towels and No Limits. All Nine for IX films will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon the day following air. A collectible DVD gift set with all films will also be available on October 15, 2013.
Follow the Nine for IX series on twitter at @30for30 and @espnW. Fans can join the conversation with the hashtag #Swoopes.
About Nine for IX
ESPN Films and espnW present Nine for IX, executive produced by Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal, featuring nine documentary films about women in sports directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning female filmmakers. Inspired by the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the series will air over nine consecutive Tuesdays on ESPN at 8 PM ET beginning July 2, 2013. Stories include Venus Williams fight for equal pay at Wimbledon, the largely unknown history of Katarina Witt and her link with East Germany’s secret police, an intimate look at Pat Summitt—college sports’ most successful coach ever, and the business of sex in the marketing of female athletes. For more information and summaries visit: Nine for IX Media Kit