Shooting Stars: There’s Pressure in the Paint

shooting stars
(from left) Romeo Travis (Scoot Henderson), Lil Dru Joyce III (Caleb McLaughlin), LeBron James (Marquis “Mookie” Cook), Willie McGee (Avery S. Wills, Jr.) and Sian Cotton (Khalil Everage) in Shooting Stars, directed by Chris Robinson.

The adults in the room try to tell us when we’re young – you are a reflection of your closest friends. It matters who you have in your circle, your crew. They will bring joy, pain, mold and shape you.

Who are the ones privileged to be seated in the front row of your life’s story? For NBA superstar, Lebron James, it doesn’t get any better than Lil Dru, Willie, Sian, and Romeo. And, Shooting Stars gives us a glimpse of their collective journey.

How did five young friends from Akron, OH become the #1 high school team in the country, and launch James’ breathtaking career as a four-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer? Literally, together.

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The inseparable “Fab Four” – Lebron, Lil Dru, Willie, and Sian (Romeo joined the crew in high school, making it the “Fab Five”) were known to eat, sleep, and drink basketball since their elementary school days as players on the “Shooting Stars”. Vowing to always play together, the talented players faced their first major adversity when the top basketball school in their district threatened to put Lil Dru on junior varsity. With some coercion, renegotiating, and vision, the Fab Four decided to stick together and ultimately switched to the predominantly white Catholic school, where the new head basketball coach had fallen from NCAA graces, and needed a new start of his own.

The film’s depiction of the Fab Five’s bond and their collective learning curve on the importance of unity under pressure shines bright from beginning to end, as does the impact of consistent familial support. The families of these young men were not wealthy, but rich in love, loyalty, and knit together for the unified purpose of seeing the young men go as far as they dreamed. And, each one of the Fab Five deeply felt this truth.

While their skills and talents were undeniable, the real-life Dru Joyce III of the Fab Five said it best:

I know we were bound tight, but the families, they had our backs. It was a lot of people even just praying for us. We always talk about how we come from good stock, and that’s definitely true.”

Basketball fans and everyday viewers will enjoy this coming-of-age story. The “shooting” and slam dunks in Shooting Stars will have viewers cheering from their sofas, and beaming with pride during the “where are they now?” segment. As anyone can predict without a spoiler alert: The Fab Five successfully managed the pressure of hard lessons and disappointments, and their brotherhood continues strong to this day.


It’s not how you start the game. It’s how you finish.

shooting starsShooting Stars – Streaming only on Peacock starting June 2nd!

Starring: Marquis “Mookie” Cook, Wood Harris, Caleb McLaughlin, Khalil Everage, Avery S. Willis, Jr., Sterling “Scoot” Henderson, Dermot Mulroney, Natalie Paul, Diane Howard, Algee Smith, Katlyn Nichol
Director: Chris Robinson
Executive Producer: Gretel Twombly
Producers: Rachel Winter, p.g.a., Spencer Beighley p.g.a, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Terence Winter
Screenplay by: Frank E. Flowers and Tony Rettenmaier & Juel Taylor, based on the book by LeBron James & Buzz Bissinger

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