BATON ROUGE, LA – JANUARY 30: Ben Simmons #25 of the LSU Tigers drives to the basket against Khadeem Lattin #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners during the second half of a game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on January 30, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Oklahoma defeated LSU 77-75. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The sports documentary space continues to get more crowded, and Showtime has an interesting forthcoming addition to the mix. The network announced Tuesday that they’ll be airing feature-length film “One And Done” in October, an inside look at Ben Simmons’ journey from Australia to LSU to the presumptive first overall pick in the NBA draft. Here’s more on the film from their release:

The network is collaborating with MAGGIEVISION Productions on the Simmons story and his journey to the NBA titled “ONE & DONE.”  The feature length film will premiere in October just prior to the start of Simmons’ rookie NBA season.  The announcement was made today by Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports Stephen Espinoza.

ONE & DONE examines the sprawling journey of Simmons from his Australian upbringing, to high school and college in America, to the top of the rookie class in the world’s foremost basketball league.  Simmons endeavors to fulfill a lifelong dream, one shared by his family, including father David Simmons, a New York City native who played 13 professional seasons in the Australian National Basketball League. 

The production, led by executive producers Maura Mandt (There’s No Place Like Home, Of Miracles And Men), Dave Chamberlin and Josh Swade, has been underway for two years with exclusive, intimate access to the highly touted, 19-year-old power forward from Melbourne.  At the heart of the film is Simmons’ time on the NCAA men’s basketball team at Louisiana State University where he played his one and done year in order to satisfy a rule regulating eligibility for the NBA Draft.  Production continues this week, as Simmons, his fellow NBA prospects and the basketball industry descend on Brooklyn, N.Y. for the 2016 NBA Draft.

 “ONE & DONE chronicles a unique and pivotal period in a young man’s life,” said Espinoza.  “Over the last year, as Ben Simmons has transitioned from teenager to young adult, he has also transitioned from the relative anonymity of a supremely talented high school player to the national and international limelight of the exclusive fraternity of top NBA draft picks.  Ben Simmons is navigating a path that, although dreamt of and aspired to for a lifetime, remains uncertain. ONE & DONE is dramatic and captivating with exclusive access to subject matter that is as timely as it is provocative.”

Simmons’ story is certainly unusual, and the behind-the-scenes access here (especially with it stretching back two years) should help make this particularly interesting. The film is expected to explore the debate around the controversial one-and-done rule and its impact on college basketball, too. The team involved here is talented, with Mandt and Swade previously collaborating on the 30 for 30 “There’s No Place Like Home” (about the quest to win James Naismith’s basketball rules at auction and bring them back to the University of Kansas), and this is part of a larger slate of documentaries Showtime has planned, including Baron Davis’ film on The Drew League and “Play It Forward” on Tony Gonzalez. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but it may well be worth checking out.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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