Netflix Grabs Rickie Fowler’s Navajo Basketball Docu-Series

Netflix has picked up basketball docu-series Basketball Or Nothing, about a Navajo Nation boys high school team, from PGA star Rickie Fowler. The series, with six parts, begins Aug. 2.

Basketball Or Nothing was conceived by The WorkShop Content Studio’s producer/director Matt Howley. It is filmed in Chinle, Arizona, and follows the lives of the Chinle High School boys’ basketball team.

“For the Chinle High Wildcats, basketball played at a state-of-the-art gym is the ultimate escape from life’s troubles while balancing home, academics and sports,” said Netflix. “With their aim set on an Arizona State Division III Championship, the Wildcats’ games attract more than 6,000 people to a town populated by only 4,500 residents. Some fans hitchhike to these games and others travel distances of up to 80 miles.”

The team plays an aggressive style of hoops known as “rezball.”

Fowler joined the professional golf tour in 2009 and has won five PGA events. He is part Navajo.

“These Navajo kids face many obstacles and hardships both on and off the court,” Fowler said. “Working with Tom and The WorkShop Content Studios provided a great opportunity for me to help tell their stories. Basketball or Nothing captures the real-world drama of facing stiff competition from opposing teams, striving for a championship and hoping to make their families and the Navajo Nation proud of them.”

Executive producers include Fowler, Workshop Content Studios CEO Tom Farrell, Howley, Todd Donnelly, Joseph Witthohn, Notah Begay III and Sam MacNaughton.

“Rickie and I are excited to be working with Netflix to put this important series in front of the public,” said Farrell. “Basketball or Nothing tells a story that while unfamiliar to the majority of Americans, is a story that deserves to be told and felt. As an athlete and part Native American, Rickie helped us ensure that the series remained real and true to the team and its loyal fans on the reservation.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.