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Basketball star Dwyane Wade may be a producer of the new documentary Shot in the Dark but that doesn’t mean he let his wife, Gabrielle Union, see it before Thursday night’s premiere in West Hollywood.
“He wouldn’t show it to me,” Union told The Hollywood Reporter before the screening held the night before the NBA All-Star Weekend at the Pacific Design Center. “I haven’t seen anything. I think he wanted me to see it with an audience and just to be proud.”
Wade explained, “This is my first time executive producing. I still got her advice, but I wanted her to be proud of me and see it later. She’s done this. This is my first time jumping into it.”
Then he cracked, “Hopefully she sees it tonight and she’ll want to work with me.”
Directed by Dustin Nakao-Haider and co-produced by Chance the Rapper, Shot in the Dark follows the Orr Academy high school basketball team on Chicago’s Westside and two of its most promising athletes Tyquone Greer and Marquise Pryor. It’s a moving portrait of a coach, Lou Adams, who becomes a father figure to most of the young men on the team as they navigate their dreams of making it to the NBA with their poverty-stricken and often violent surroundings.
“Chicago is the city that I was born and raised in,” Wade said. “I see myself in these guys. My story wasn’t told [in a documentary] to help someone, but their story can. And I’m glad that I get a chance to be a part of it and bringing the story to life. Hopefully it will help others.”
Wade recalled his own struggles avoiding the streets in order to stay focused on basketball.
“I don’t even want to think about what it could have been like,” he said. “Obviously, God has a plan for everybody but I definitely think I wouldn’t be standing up here in front of you right now if it wasn’t for basketball. I am so thankful for basketball, and so thankful for the mentors in my life. They helped keep me on the path. Even when I didn’t believe or when I couldn’t see the end, they kept me on the path so I can have success.”
Gangs were a normal part of growing up. “In my neighborhood where I grew up on the Southside, it’s like gangs are the next thing. Once you get to a certain age, it’s the next step. It’s just something you fall into,” Wade said. “But basketball kept me away from that, kept me out of it.”
He returned to live in Chicago when he played for the Bulls. “It was weird because the last time I was living in Chicago, I lived a certain way and now I’m back and I’m living in a privileged neighborhood that I never even heard of when I was young,” Wade said. “I’m walking around with my wife and my kids and I was just like, ‘This feels weird to me.’”
Shot in the Dark premieres on Fox on Feb. 24 and is the second installment of Fox Sports Films’ Magnify documentary series. “Magnify uses sports to examine larger cultural issues,” says Fox Sports Films executive producer Gabe Spitzer. “They are sports stories that are bigger than the game.”
Charlie Dixon, executive vp of content at Fox Sports, added, “What we really liked about Shot in the Dark is that it’s not a traditional talking-head documentary. It’s not people telling you what happened. You really got immersed in the world and you feel like you’re there.”
So what did Union think of her husband’s first shot at producing?
“It is so good,” she said after the screening. “I am so proud of him.”
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