Rez Ball, an all-American underdog story about Indigenous kids told from the inside-out, is coming to Netflix and we now know who has been cast in a starring role.
The show follows the Chuska Warriors, an Indigenous high school basketball team from New Mexico that has to come together after losing their top player if they want to keep their quest for a state championship alive.
Sydney Freeland will direct the series. Reservation Dogs co-creator Sterlin Harjo is producing and writing the script with Freeland.
deadline.com says Rez Ball is inspired by the nonfiction book Canyon Dreams by Michael Powell and the New York Times articles that precede the book.
“I could not be more enthusiastic about Rez Ball. I am so grateful to Netflix, Wise, Springhill, Chernin and Lake Ellyn for their help bringing this story to life. This is a story that is so deep and close to me and to be able to showcase our part of America with the world in such an authentic way is deeply gratifying,” said Freeland. “We set out to make a film from an authentic point of view, and our incredible cast has brought Sterlin’s and my words to life in that way. Our actors, culled from over 5,000 submissions, embody the spirit and energy of what Rez Ball is, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Rez Ball stars Amber Midthunder, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Julia Jones, Dallas Goldtooth, Cody Lightning, Ernest Tsosie and Kauchani Bratt. Newcomers Devin Sampson-Craig, River Rayne Thomas, Jojo Jackson, Avery Hale, Hunter Redhorse Arthur, Henry Wilson Jr, Jaren K. Robledo, Damian Henry Castellane, Kusem Goodwind and Zoey Reyes will play the all Indigenous basketball team.
Producers include Maurício Mota and Katie Elmore Mota for Wise Entertainment, Spencer Beighley, Jamal Henderson and LeBron James for The SpringHill Company, and Nancy Utley for Lake Ellyn Entertainment. Executive producers are Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for Chernin Entertainment, and Maverick Carter for The SpringHill Company, as well as Freeland, Harjo and Scott Lumpkin.