Local writer Robert “Fleetwood” Bowden is making his debut as a director, working on a new documentary on McClymonds High School’s championship girls’ basketball team.
McClymonds High’s girls’ team has become a powerhouse. During the past two years, it has gone from a program known for decades as a loser, to the champions of the Oakland Athletic League, the first time since 1976.
What theteam accomplished on the court was impressive, but the bigger breakthrough was off the court. The personal hardships these girls had to face were countless: from the murders of friends and siblings, to one young woman who is the caretaker of a mother who has HIV.
The young women are dealing with a lot more than any teenagers should have to navigate, and for them, life and games take on a different meaning.
Basketball is a breath of fresh air, an escape, and a safe haven for them. The game gives them a chance to avoid the traps in the urban environment that await so many young women.
Basketball gives them focus and a chance to maintain a GPA above 3.9 which these girls have been doing their whole championship year. Basketball has taken them and will take them to a whole different world. If you ask them what it is they want to do, their likely response would be, “I just wanna ball.”
“As I sat in my cubicle at work and read the article about McClymonds girls’ championship basketball team, I was completely blown away by their strength, courage, and determination,” said director Bowden.
“I knew at that moment I had to take all the resources I had and get this amazing story to as many people as I could. I had been looking for a project to launch my directorial film debut and here it was.
“Our hope is to find assistance within our community for these young ladies as they pursue their education, and to assist them in maintaining a positive life while becoming successful, shining examples in our communities,” Bowden said.
For information or to contribute to the making of this documentary, go to http://igg.me/at/IJustWannaBall, view the trailer of “I JUST WANNA BALL.”