The next installment in ESPN Films’ SEC Storied series, “The Rebel,” will premiere on Tuesday, May 30, at 9 p.m. ET on SEC Network. The film looks at mercurial former Ole Miss basketball scoring sensation Johnny Neumann and the decisions he made that shaped his life and career forever.
Johnny Neumann took the Ole Miss nickname seriously. A 6’6” prodigy from Memphis often compared to LSU superstar Pete Maravich, Neumann was supposed to lead the Rebel basketball program to national prominence in the early 1970s. But he proved to be too headstrong, too egotistical and not keen enough to know he could be his own worst enemy.
In the SEC Storied film “The Rebel,” director Paul Carruthers looks back on those days when Neumann electrified the Memphis basketball scene playing for Overton High before moving on to the University of Mississippi. The film also reveals a now older and wiser man who returned to Oxford in 2013 to begin working on the college degree he once spurned. In the years in between, Neumann bounced from team to team and country to country. His is a story of friends forgotten, money squandered and opportunities lost. “I have been humbled,” he says. “I have been broken.” But it’s also a tale that may yet have a happy ending.
The film includes exclusive interviews from Paul Finebaum, Woody Paige, and Hubie Brown. Advance digital screeners are available upon request.
About SEC Storied
ESPN Films launched the SEC Storied documentary series in September 2011, presenting fans the opportunity to explore the rich athletic history of the Southeastern Conference. From extraordinary athletes and coaches to defining games and moments, the series has featured films that focus on the SEC’s recent and more distant past, including one of the most-viewed documentaries in ESPN history, “The Book of Manning.” In 2015 SEC Storied received its first two Sports Emmy nominations for both “Outstanding Sports Documentary” and “Outstanding Music Composition/Direction/Lyrics” with the film “It’s Time: The Story of Brad Gaines and Chucky Mullins.”
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN launched SEC Network on August 14, 2014. The television network televises over 45 SEC football games, 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and other events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming includes in-depth analysis and storytelling in studio shows, daily news and information with SEC Now, original content such as SEC Inside and ESPN Films SEC Storied, and more. Hundreds of additional live events are offered exclusively on SEC Network’s digital companion, SEC Network+, via WatchESPN, the ESPN app and SECNetwork.com.