For Blacktop Ballers: 'The World Is Watching'

Tyquan Goodlet in The World Is Watching

(The Root) — Filmmaker and music-video director Rik Cordero teamed up with fellow Big Apple native and hoops enthusiast Spike Lee (as well as Nike) to make The World Is Watching, a documentary exploring the world and attitudes of young professional hoop hopefuls out of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and the "borough" of Harlem.

Across the span of 55 minutes, Lee's signature eccentric narration follows the journey that locally known virtuosos take in making a name for themselves in one of basketball’s toughest areas: New York. Representatives from four of the city's five boroughs (Staten Island was excluded) put their blood, sweat and tears into preparing to rep their hoods in the annual Battle of the Boroughs basketball tournament back in 2010.


"I breath, sleep and eat basketball," said Tyquan Goodlet (above), a player on Brooklyn's team. "We don't let anyone come into our borough and try to thug us out." In every segment, we hear teaching testimonies from mentors and coaches, and bravado-laced statements from a variety of team players. These young men aren't just playing for a trophy. The real prize is the pride of settling the age-old question: Who really is the king of the court?

Watch it here to see which borough took home the title on game day.

Previous recommendation: The Rise and Fall of Motown's Mary Wells.

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