On Tuesday, April 30, ESPN will debut the next installment in the Peabody and Emmy award-winning 30 for 30 series with “The Dominican Dream.” Featuring the incredible journey of retired professional basketball player Felipe Lopez, “The Dominican Dream” will premiere at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, marking the first time 30 for 30 debuted the English and Spanish-language versions of a film simultaneously on both networks.
Directed by 30 for 30 veteran Jonathan Hock (“Survive and Advance,” “One and Not Done,” “Of Miracles and Men”), produced by Phil Aromando and Alex Evans, and presented by Reese’s, “The Dominican Dream” is a portrait of Dominican immigrants of New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s, seen through a loving family whose youngest son, Felipe Lopez, became the top ranked high school basketball player in the nation and was touted as the next Michael Jordan. He would rise unimaginably high, then crash and burn, only to rise again. Embraced as an immigrant hero, then cast aside as an American failure, Lopez would eventually find happiness not as a basketball player, but as the man he was always meant to be.
“What drew me to the story of Felipe Lopez and his family is that it’s a success story disguised as a story of failure and disappointment, said director Jonathan Hock. “It’s a classic American immigrant tale that shows that – even if you’re hailed as ‘The Dominican Michael Jordan’ and pictured like a superhero on the cover of Sports Illustrated – true success in life is something much greater than being the best at playing a game.”
The film, which will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April, features interviews with Dominican former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, former basketball players Chauncey Billups, Chris Mullin, famed sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro and more.
“Jon Hock has an unbelievable knack for finding stories we all think we remember, but hardly appreciated until he unearthed the full stories of their humanity and vulnerability,” said ESPN Films vice president and executive producer Libby Geist. “Felipe’s story of success on the court is a great one, but his impact on the Dominican community and what he still represents to so many is something I didn’t grasp until seeing the film. We can’t wait to share this story with our audience.”
Advance press screeners are available upon request. Additional information, including film clips and director statements and bios, are available on the 30 for 30website espn.com/30for30. Follow 30 for 30 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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