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Basketball or Nothing takes us to Navajo Nation where Rezball Reigns Supreme

Former Professional Golfers’ Association player Notah Begay III, and Rickie Fowler, a current PGA golfer, are among the executive producers of the Native American-themed docuseries “Basketball or Nothing.”

The three-hour film is currently streaming in half-hour segments on Netflix.

The documentary focuses on Chinle High School in the heart of the Navajo Nation. Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles across three states: Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The film follows a varsity basketball team’s quest to win its first Arizona state championship in the 3A class.

To achieve this ambitious goal, Chinle hired 69-year-old Raul Mendoza to coach the team. His 40 years of experience included taking teams to eight final-four rounds of state tournaments. Basketball hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was once Mendoza’s assistant.

Mendoza has the challenge of blending his style with the “Rez-ball” style of play proved to be Mendoza’s greatest challenge. The veteran coach preached structure and patience and defense over the preferred to run and gun.

PGA golfer Rickie Fowler, who served as an executive producer and whose grandmother is Navajo, told The Associated Press that he joined the project to show audiences the obstacles high school students face on the reservation.

“It was something for me to give back to my Navajo side,” said Fowler, who grew up in California. “But I also wanted to show the hardship of what the rez is all about and bring awareness…it will be eye-opening.”

“Basketball or Nothing” is a refreshingly life-affirming documentary that viewers wont want to miss.

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