In Uproxx’s original documentary series Us Against The World, coach Roderick Rhodes, a former Kentucky Wildcat and NBA player, manages to turn the Cordia High School basketball team into a winner before a backlash leads to players being harassed and Rhodes eventually losing his job. The 10-part docuseries from Uproxx focuses on what follows, how Rhodes disputes the school board’s decision, and how his players continue their journeys with a new coach and a new host of challenges ahead of them.
Whether you’re familiar with this story or not, Us Against The World is a worthwhile option for your next binge-watch. Read on if you need a little more convincing.
It’s Generating Buzz
Us Against The World is a series designed to start a larger conversation, and buzz is certainly building. Basketball is in the DNA of Kentucky sports, so many statewide websites are anxious to relive the frustration depicted in the docu-series after living through them first hand. The series has also been getting shoutouts from correspondents for the New York Times and Barstool College Sports, as well as national sports sites like Awful Announcing and Black Sports Online.
It’s Got Something For Fans Of Classic Basketball Documentaries
Following in the footsteps of classics like Hoop Dreams, Through The Fire, and others that show athletics as a possible way out, Us Against The World shows the Cordia kids finding, not necessarily basketball superstardom at the next level, but structure, family, and a cause which gives them the strength to overcome adversity.
It’s An Inspirational Story
Everyone likes to root for the underdog, and the obstacles facing Coach Rhodes and the rest of the Cordia team are certainly daunting. Rhodes is a noble figure at the center, trying to provide opportunities for boys that society would much rather leave behind. The boys themselves — particularly Oumar Keita, a refugee from Mali, and Ramon “Momo” Mercado, who left behind family struggles in the projects of Lower East Manhattan — are complex figures as well, dealing with the trials of adolescence and situations that make personal progress an uphill battle.
It’s A Sober Look At The Issues That Still Divide America
As much as we like to imagine that we’re progressing past these issues, racial tension is still at the forefront of sports to this very day. From the NFL to the smaller scale of the Knott County board of education, the issues of racial discrimination are still oft-present. But Us Against The World is a reminder that while these horrific problems do still exist, there are people out there fighting the good fight to stamp out discrimination no matter the cost.
It Appeals To Non-Sports Fans
While the backdrop is basketball, Us Against The World is not solely meant for hardcore hoops fan. The story of Cordia, Coach Rhodes, and his boys is ultimately a story that has the capacity to touch a large number of people. Even viewers who are a little ambivalent about athletics should be able to find something compelling or someone that sparks their interest.