Since launching his YouTube channel last April, NBA star Kevin Durant has been busy creating a variety of content for the platform, from live collaborations with established YouTube creators to an autobiographical documentary. Now, he’s expanding his online video portfolio with an upcoming series for Apple.
Currently in development, the scripted show Swagger will focus on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the youth basketball organization in which Durant was involved as a kid. Set in Washington, DC, Swagger will peer into the lives of those involved in the AAU—the players, their parents, and their coaches. Most players in the organization are just around 12 years old, and they (along with their parents) have to navigate big money offers from athletic brands.
Durant’s Thirty Five Media will produce the series with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Television. Executive producers include Durant, his partner at Thirty Five Media, Rich Kleiman, Grazer, and Francie Calfo from Imagine.
Grazer, who executive produced Friday Night Lights, a series about the intense high school football culture in a Texas town, sees Swagger as an opportunity to work on a similar project. According to Deadline, Grazer found in Durant’s story of his youth AAU experience, “a beautiful world that the Friday Night Lights essence could inhabit.”
Reggie Blythewood is writing and directing Swagger. Blythewood co-wrote Notorious, the Notorious BIG biopic, and he served as both writer and producer for Fox’s Shots Fired.
This is Durant’s first big video project off YouTube, but his experience on the platform has been impressively extensive for someone who’s had a channel for under a year. His channel already has over 608,000 subscribers and features vlog style videos along with high production quality documentary shorts, like his Nike-sponsored project, Still KD. Just last month, Durant’s Thirty Five Media announced that it would become one of YouTube’s Development Partners, meaning it’s now working with other NBA stars to help them launch their own YouTube channels.
Swagger will join other big names on Apple’s video roster, including Steven Spielberg, who is rebooting Amazing Stories for Apple, while Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston have a straight-to-series order for a new drama show with the company.