The odds were against Jarvis Mitchell from the beginning: he was too small. Left-handed. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan (also known as "Bedrock") where drugs, gangs, crime, unemployment, and poverty were - and still are - the order of the day. And to make matters worse, he had to play with and against the likes of future NBA players Morris "Mo Pete" Peterson, Jr., Charlie Bell, and Mateen Cleaves.
But was it really worse? Or did those factors contribute to his "Bedrock" swagger, that relentless hunger to "make it", no matter how high of a price was to be paid?
Passion + Preparation will dive head first into the unlikely yet inspiring journey of Jarvis Mitchell, and how his drive and perseverance propelled him beyond NCAA Div 1 basketball and all the way to playing professional basketball in Latvia. It will delve into the challenges of an American - specifically an African-American - playing professional sports in another country. How the attention, the money, and the "love" seem to fade amidst the language and cultural barriers, the isolation, and the sacrifices that were being made. And what happened the day his relationship with basketball seemed to end, and how his faith in God ultimately helped him to recognize the relationship wasn't over; it had merely evolved. Possibly for his own good.
The film will follow Jarvis today, as he continues to transition and fine tune his approach from pro player to girls' basketball coach in a now-bankrupt Detroit. Up close and personal, Passion + Preparation will highlight his efforts to aid his players to secure college scholarships (and to graduate debt-free) while pursuing their own aspirations of playing professional basketball.