Shaq releasing inspiring ‘Killer Bees’ documentary about struggling basketball team
Shaquille O’Neal is bringing an inspiring documentary to the masses about a little known team of Black basketball players who play in the Hamptons but face getting pushed out of the area because of rising real estate prices and gentrification.
The basketball legend will screen the movie Killer Bees Oct. 24th in the Hamptons and admits that before the documentary he knew nothing more about the area than it being the place where the rich and famous vacation.
“I’ve been to the Hamptons 20 times,” the retired Los Angeles Laker told The Hollywood Reporter.
“But I’ve been on the rich people’s side — the Leonardo DiCaprio, the Puffy, the Beyonce side, with the boats, where people are well off — so when I was told there was another side, I was like, ‘That’s impossible!’”
Now O’Neal will make his first foray into the Oscar realm as a producer of the documentary feature.
The 82-minute documentary highlights a Black Bridehampton High School basketball team nicknamed the “Killer Bees” and its coach, Carl Johnson as they defend their 2015 state title. It also highlights the income disparity, racism and gentrification challenges they face as Black residents are slowly pushed out.
“I was quite surprised by what I saw,” O’Neal said. “I was like, ‘This is a story that needs to be told.’”
O’Neal say he has met with the Bridgehampton team several times and really connected.
“When they saw that I was a regular person, I think that’s what shocked them the most,” he recalled.
“I came in by myself, no bodyguards, no entourage, wearing the same jeans as they were, same clothes, same sneakers — and I think they realized that I was an older version of them.”