Kevin Durant executive produces the new Apple TV+ series, "Swagger," a drama based on his childhood experiences in the world of youth basketball.
O'Shea Jackson Jr. plays a former star player who is now a youth basketball coach.
Five things you need to know:
- The cast of "Swagger" also includes Isaiah Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, Academy Award-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, Caleel Harris, James Bingham, Solomon Irama, Ozie Nzeribe, Tessa Ferrer, Tristan Mack Wilds and Jason Rivera.
- The genesis of bringing "Swagger" to the screen began when Durant met executive producer Brian Grazer at a conference they both attended in Sicily. This fortuitous meeting soon led to a conversation about creating a series inspired by Durant's youth basketball days. "I wanted to depict what went on when I was a kid in the youth basketball circuit," Durant said. "It's the start for a lot of what goes on in the NBA business today. I wanted there to be an inside look at what it was like for me and my teammates coming up. I think we all had unique stories and different paths, but we all came together for one common goal, which was to grow as a team but also to get better as individuals and make the next level. There are a lot of different dynamics, and I thought that would be cool for people to see."
- NAACP Image Award winner Reggie Rock Bythewood serves as showrunner, executive producer, creator and director. Wallis was reluctant to take on the role of Crystal, a top young basketball player. She explained how it was a call from Bythewood that convinced her to say "yes." "Hearing him talk to me and hearing how he was so passionate about not only me, but this project itself, he had so much passion and drive, and believed in me and believed that I could really make this character come to life. That's what just really pushed me to be like, 'I can do this. I can definitely do this. I can have the swagger to do this...and just devote myself to being Crystal."
- Wilds, who portrays Alonzo Powers, the grassroots division leader at a major shoe company, is an American actor, Grammy award-nominated singer-songwriter, and record producer. He is known for his roles as Michael Lee on the HBO original drama series "The Wire" and as Dixon Wilson on the CW teen drama series "90210." He made his Broadway debut in the play "Thoughts of A Colored Man in October," which runs through March 2022.
- Jackson Jr., whose character Ike coaches Team Swagger, shared the most memorable advice he received from his father, Ice Cube: "To stay true to me, to not let go of things that make me…me. Don't let anybody change that, and don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. Don't be afraid or feel like you can't voice your opinion on something or tell somebody 'no' because if you don't take care of you, you don't love yourself, then who will? You've got to have your back."