In a story captured in a documentary by the folks at Jordan Brand, an Iraqi girl falls in love with basketball in a Country where tradition says she shouldn’t. Laylan, a determined girl, rises above expectations to become a college basketball player despite the cultural challenges surrounding her.
This is the first of four documentaries that will be released once a week during the month of July. Jordan Brand, inspired by individual stories around the world, has created a four-part documentary series entitled “Rise Above.” Rise Above filmed the four documentaries in Iraq, Dallas, Leishan Village and Chicago.
Here’s a quick rundown of the remaining three documentaries that will be released in the coming weeks:
Jordan Presents #RISEABOVE LIMITS: Amputee ballers across the nation unite to play stand up basketball. Scott Odom and his AMP1 team never give up on their dreams to play. Together they rise above limits to compete at a high level against able-bodied players.
Jordan Presents #RISEABOVE ISOLATION: China’s passion for hoops shines bright in a remote mountain village. Chinese villagers in the remote mountains of Leishan nursed Shiau Xiao, an experttour guide, back to health after he rolled his ankle during a pick-up game on their dirt court. Determined to repay their kindness and help them rise above isolation, Shiao helped them rebuild their basketball court.
Jordan Presents #RISEABOVE CONDITIONS: Kids in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods reclaim their streets for the love of the game. Hoops in the Hood gives kids in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods an opportunity to rise above conditions. Every Friday night during the summer, blocks across the city are transformed into courts, so ballers from all backgrounds can compete on the streets.
Here’s the first documentary in full. We’ll post the remaining three as soon as they release.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”