Directed by Ron Yassen and Executive Produced by Chris Paul
The first reaction one of the students at Charlotte Secondary had when he was first introduced to lacrosse in 2015 was, “That’s a white person’s sport.” But, as he and other at-risk students at the charter school found out, lacrosse wasn’t just for rich white kids – and it wasn’t just a sport. It turned into a source of pride, a chance to become part of a family, a path to college and a way to honor the man who first believed in them. The inspiring story of this team is featured in a new ESPN Films documentary, “Crossroads,” directed by Emmy Award-winning sports documentary producer Ron Yassen and executive produced by Houston Rockets star and North Carolina native Chris Paul. The film will premiere Thursday, Aug. 23, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Trailer: https://es.pn/2vKWO1g
The film takes a look at a group of kids who went from awkward lacrosse neophytes to North Carolina state finalists in just three seasons. “Crossroads” captures not only the challenges and triumphs they share together, but also paints vivid portraits of the men and students behind the miracle. After Teddy Walker, the athletic director at Charlotte Secondary, saw the gift of used lacrosse equipment as a way to build character and spirit at his school, he was able to find the perfect coach in eye surgeon Bobby Selkin. The mission: use lacrosse to get the students out of their shells and into college.
“’Crossroads’ follows a group of at-risk African American teenagers who fight through the pain and adversity of childhood trauma to find salvation through sports,” said director Ron Yassen. “This film spoke to me on a personal level, having been separated from my father as a young boy. Seeing our characters form a bond with a coach and an athletic director who help transform their lives shows that anything is possible with teamwork, drive, and perseverance.”
Added executive producer Chris Paul: “’Crossroads’ is a very moving and inspiring documentary that explores the importance of teamwork and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds. It captures the impactful relationships formed between teammates and the role models who believe in them. This incredible true story from my home state of North Carolina conveys the transformative and connective power of sports.”
The film premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and has screened at this year’s Nashville Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. It will be available for streaming Friday, August 24, on ESPN+, the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group and ESPN.
About ESPN Films
ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series and the Academy-Award winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim. Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included 30 for 30 Shorts, Nine for IX and the SEC Storied series.