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Chike Ozah and Coodie Tell Stephon Marbury’s Story in New Doc – Variety



When most individuals consider NBA stars, they typically consider LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kobe Bryant. Nonetheless, die-hard followers will bear in mind Stephon Marbury, who entered the league at 19 in 1996, was a two-time All-Star and had a profitable profession within the Chinese language Basketball Affiliation.

The brand new movie “A Child From Coney Island” traces his path as a younger boy who grew as much as play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. He had a promising future.

In 2009, Marbury live-streamed a video of himself consuming Vaseline and crying. It was one thing the media had a heyday over. However there was one thing else happening, one other aspect to the story.

Filmmakers Chike Ozah and Coodie [Simmons] had been collaborators since 2002, engaged on music movies and quick movies, like “Muhammad Ali: The Individuals’s Champ.” Neither knew a lot about Marbury, however Coodie did bear in mind the Vaseline incident and the way he was “ridiculed by the NBA.”

Producers Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker had approached the filmmakers asking in the event that they needed to discover Marbury’s story mentioning that he had since moved to China and had gone on to turn into a three-time champion for the Chinese language Basketball Affiliation. That’s once they had been impressed to inform his story.

Each Coodie and Ozah adopted the identical philosophy in storytelling, to let the story inform itself. “It’s like a puzzle,” Coodie says. “I’m discovering issues as we go.”

The storytelling journey took them to Beijing the place Marbury had settled. There they sat down with him to listen to his story, and Ozah noticed how deeply philosophical Marbury was. “He’d begin speaking about his life after which he’d go down these rabbit holes,” explains Ozah.

The three of them discovered that they’d quite a bit in widespread — they’d all misplaced their fathers.

“It was such a distinction to what we had heard within the media. We unraveled this despair and darkness. I by no means knew he had needed to commit suicide,” admits Coodie. He says the media was mocking Marbury for the Vaseline incident, however they had been oblivious to his despair as a result of he had misplaced his father. “The media didn’t care about that,” Coodie says. “In China, we had been capable of see that aspect.”

After spending time with Marbury in China, the filmmakers returned to America the place they sat down along with his mom, sister and different folks featured within the documentary.

Along with the interviews, the documentary weaves in archival information footage of Marbury’s rise and time spent taking part in on the courts as a promising teenager. It was all about stability.

Jason Harper and Max Allman served because the documentary’s co-editors who helped discover the proper method to inform Marbury’s story and piece it collectively. The group selected to current the interviews from his household and former group gamers to point out his love of the sport and his athleticism.

“We needed to choose the proper moments to maneuver the story ahead,” says Ozah.

Marbury doesn’t seem on display to inform his story till he strikes to China later within the documentary. “The principle factor from that time was that we needed to take you inside his head so that you knew what he was going by,” explains Coodie.

What’s subsequent for the pair? They solely informed Selection that they’ve simply signed on as inventive administrators for basketball media firm SLAM Media, which suggests they’ll seemingly be telling extra tales concerning the tradition and world of the game sooner or later.

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