North Carolina Central Basketball
Photo: NCCU Athletics

Chris Paul and Stephen A. Smith have teamed up to tell the story of North Carolina Central basketball.

Why Not Us: North Carolina Central University Men’s Basketball, a new all-access docuseries executive produced by NBA All-Star Chris Paul and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is the first project to debut under The Undefeated on ESPN+.

Premiering Feb. 12 exclusively on ESPN+, Why Not Us takes viewers behind the scenes of the North Carolina Central. The eight-episode documentary series will examine the distinct culture, experiences and challenges of a historically Black college athletic program, its coaches, staff and student-athletes.

“Why Not Us will spotlight the importance and uniqueness of HBCUs by chronicling the NCCU men’s basketball team and the challenges they encounter throughout a season in my home state of North Carolina,” said Paul. “HBCUs face challenges to compete at the same level as PWIs due to lack of funding, resources and awareness. Despite the obstacles they face, Why Not Us shines a light on these amazing Black student-athletes who attend HBCUs, and how these historically significant schools continue to enrich not only the Black community but our nation as a whole.”

Read: How a 5-minute phone call between Roy Williams and LeVelle Moton led to North Carolina Central playing in Chapel Hill

“As a graduate of an HBCU – Winston-Salem State University – any issue that allows us to illuminate the great challenges that HBCU’s perpetually face, yet overcome day-after-day, is something that is going to garner my interest,” said Smith. “After asking my coach, the late, great Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines, what I could do for him in return for all he’s done for me, his answer was very simple: ‘Do all you can for this university, for any HBCU. Don’t let the world try and forget about it.’ This project is a step in that direction. It’s not just a project or a piece of work. It’s a mission. And I’m incredibly delighted and grateful that Chris Paul and ESPN asked me to come on board to make this happen.”

Courtesy: NCCU Athletics


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