'Big Joe' tells the story of the remarkable life and legacy of Joe White, an extraordinary basketball coach from East London, who used the failure of his own NBA dreams as motivation to use basketball as a tool to change lives, both on and off the court in Hackney — the most under-privileged borough in the the UK at the time — before tragically losing his life at just 40 years old.
In order for the project to reach its full potential, Hoopsfix Foundation are looking to secure the rights to the crucial archive footage that paints the vivid picture of Joe's career and life, though that aim currently faces a funding gap of £20,000.
Joe's impact on the basketball world was nothing short of legendary. In just 14 years coaching with Hackney White Heat, he won 21 junior national league titles, and 16 national schools titles, but more importantly provided a safe place and direction for thousands of youngsters in London.
Thirty two of his players went on to play professionally, including one in the NBA and two at the London 2012 Olympics.
'Big Joe' is a celebration of an individual who dedicated his life to the sport he loved. Through riveting interviews, captivating stories, and never-before-seen footage, it aims to capture the essence of an incredible man's journey.
From the gritty courts of East London to the international stage, Joe's story is one of triumph, inspiration, impact, and the unbreakable bonds forged through the love of basketball.
The project has been brought to life through the work of Sam Neter and Dani Arroniz. The pair have collaborated on 'Big Joe' for the past four years, working voluntarily for the Hoopsfix Foundation, whose mission is to grow and raise the profile of basketball in the UK.
In order to get the documentary over the line, one more hurdle needs to be cleared. With the project already self-funded to the tune of £12,000, Neter and Arroniz are looking to secure the rights to archive footage from the likes of Getty Images, the NBA, IOC, Sky, and ITV. The licence fees required are sizable, with the pair now looking for help from the basketball community.
"Joe's story is one that needs to be told. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to be able to tell it but it's never going to get out to the public unless we can raise these rights fees.
"We know that £20,000 is not a small amount of money, but we're hoping that with the amount of people he touched and the impact he had, if everyone reaches in their pocket to support we can make it happen.
"The basketball community is tight knit and we're hoping to prove it once again, by successfully raising the money and telling one of the most important and under-appreciated stories in British basketball."
To contribute to the project, no matter how big or small, you can access the project's GoFundMe page using the button below.
Your support will be instrumental in preserving the legacy of Coach Joe White and bringing his story to a wider audience, hopefully inspiring future generations.