• 07 Sep - 13 Sep, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly

The show is docuseries that follows the basketball team at Chinle High School on the Navajo Nation reservation through a season's effort to chase an Arizona state title. Under the guidance of veteran coach Raul Mendoza, who brings a new philosophy to his first season with the Chinle Wildcats, the team works hard to adapt to his expectations and the hopes of the broader Chinle community. As adversity on the court and off challenges the players, they strive for success and hope that basketball can help launch futures of limitless possibility.

You needn't be a basketball fan to succumb to the captivating nature of this enlightening series. Drama plays out on the court as losses threaten the group's goals and players adjust to Mendoza's methods – all while dealing with the pressures of playing a sport that garners a cult following that outnumbers the town’s population – but there's more intrigue in the subjects’ backstories and the intimate picture they paint of life on the Navajo Nation reservation.

Basketball or Nothing’s title is a nod to the harsh reality that if not for the popular sport, there would be very near nothing for these teens to do in and around Chinle, where drug use, drinking, and suicide rates are disproportionately high among teens and young adults. For these players, basketball is more than just a productive use of their free time; it's a possible ticket off the reservation and into college, a career, and a more secure lifestyle than many have known in their own childhoods.

A captivating watch for most.