'Rise of the Lions' documentary set to air this weekend

Teesside Lions basketball club is the subject of a film documentary, airing this Saturday, by talented local student Charlie McKenna.

With footage, interviews and an interesting insight into the club, McKenna has produced a timeline of events from 10 years ago up until present day, covering topics such as history, community, schools, the appointment of Great Britain coach Marc Steuel, the assembly of an impressive team and the ultimate thorn in the side Covid-19 and the UK's lockdown.

The new episode will be released every Saturday at 8pm for four weeks, and can be viewed for free via the Teesside Lions Facebook or YouTube platforms.

Lockdown lift

Lions' chairman James Thomson said: “First, I would like to thank Charlie for this remarkable work. I have been fortunate to view the first episode and its still hard to believe he has delivered this to such a high standard.

"He has also managed to squeeze so much in; including the extra weight I have put on over the last 10 months!

“The documentary has been in production for quite a while but with the latest Lockdown being announced, we wanted to align the release to help people get through.

“The latest lockdown is our third and we have seen the physical and mental effects on so many young people who have missed their regular training twice already.

"We are also aware of the effect on players over 18 (some as old as 50) who have not been able to enjoy their passion for more than ten months.

“It is our hope that this documentary will provide some engagement, respite and hope over the next four weeks as we near the end of what will hopefully be our final lockdown and a return to some form of normality for everyone.”

The Lions announced a number a signings ready for 2020/21 before Covid struck

Catching the eye

McKenna, who also plays for Teesside's U16 National League side, has produced a library of content since his interest in film began during the early stages of the first lockdown.

His most notable film was a club promo and the 'Rise of the Lions' trailer which is embedded above had more than 15,000 views on Facebook alone.

A pupil of Nunthorpe Academy in Middlesbrough, McKenna is just 14 years old but has already caught the eye of some established creative branding agencies and videographers such as Ryze and Castle Productions, both impressed by his previous work.

Links to the Lions' YouTube and Facebook accounts are available using the buttons below.