Fox Sports Net (FSN), in collaboration with the Black Fives Foundation, has produced a new series of film vignettes that the network has begun airing on its affiliate stations in the 14 markets where it broadcasts NBA games.

Furthermore, FSN asked a total of 35 current NBA players to appear in the vignettes, to discuss corresponding Black Fives Era pioneers with whom they are teamed up. For example, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul talks about Hudson “Huddy” Oliver, who won four “Colored Basketball World’s Championships” with three different all-black teams from 1908 to 1911. “Long before I won rookie of the year, there was Hudson ‘Huddy’ Oliver,” says Paul, before sharing some additional facts. Each player appears in his own vignette.

“This is unprecedented in the history of the league and in the history of basketball,” says Black Fives Foundation executive director Claude Johnson. “We have to realize that it is pioneering work by Fox Sports Net in and of itself.”

Many of the NBA’s biggest stars are involved, including Anthony Davis (NO), Kevin Durant (OKC), Paul George (IND), Roy Hibbert (IND), Blake Griffin (LAC), Kyrie Irving (CLE), Brandon Jennings (DET), DeAndre Jordan (LAC), and Paul, previously mentioned. Davis, Durant, George, Hibbert, Griffin, Irving, and Paul are 2014 NBA All Stars.

original-pioneers“The idea is breathtaking in its simplicity,” says Johnson, who selected the pioneers and co-wrote the player scripts with award-winning director Loren Mendell.

Fox Sports Net broadcasts NBA games for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs. The network also produced several versions of the visual portraits using a voiceover actor, for its non-NBA markets.

The new series of vignettes is called “Original Pioneers,” and the first four that have already begun to air (see below) are about two remarkable teams, the New York Rens and the Washington Bears, and two star players, William “Dolly” King and Zachariah “Zack” Clayton.

Additional vignettes in the series are about star players George Crowe, James Dorsey, Edwin Bancroft Henderson, John Isaacs, Hudson Oliver, and Cumberland Posey, Jr.


New York Rens:


Washington Bears:


Zachariah “Zack” Clayton:


William “Dolly” King

Participating NBA Players:

Chauncey Billups (DET), Eric Bledsoe (PHO), Elton Brand (ATL), Corey Brewer (MIN), DeMarre Carroll (ATL), Vince Carter (DAL), Dante Cunningham (MIN), Anthony Davis (NO), Kevin Durant (OKC), Sean Elliott (SA), Channing Frye (PHO), Paul George (IND), Eric Gordon (NO), Danny Green (SA), Gerald Green (PHO), Blake Griffin (LAC), Roy Hibbert (IND), Jrue Holiday (NO), Kyrie Irving (CLE), Brandon Jennings (DET), DeAndre Jordan (LAC), Shane Larkin (DAL), Shawn Marion (DAL), Kevin Martin (MIN), C.J. Miles (CLE), E’Twaun Moore (ORL), Jameer Nelson (ORL), Chris Paul (LAC), Ramon Sessions (CHA), Josh Smith (DET), Tristan Thompson (CLE), Anthony Tolliver (CHA), Kemba Walker (CHA), David West (IND), Louis Williams (ATL).

Please stay tuned for updates about other vignettes in the series by following @blackfives and #OriginalPioneers on Twitter. If you like these videos, please share their links and also visit Fox Sports Net to give each of them a thumbs up!