Inglewood’s Morningside High School was featured on ESPN Tuesday night as the place that fueled the dreams of 5 basketball superstars during the 1992-1993 season.
“Morningside 5” chronicles the lives of Stais Boseman, Dwight Curry, Corey Saffold, Donminic Ellison and Sean Harris 25 years later. It’s the latest film in ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.
Narrated and directed by Mike Tollin, the film is a 90-minute presentation from the ESPN Films group, and was taken from his original 1993 documentary about the team, titled “Hardwood Dreams.”
Based on the lives of 5 high school basketball players from Inglewood, “Morningside 5” is a journey filled with hope and disappointment, anger and inspiration, Tollin says. The Morningside Monarchs were riding high in the early 1990’s with an esteemed reputation for basketball, “plus their five pre-eminent players were all returning for their senior years,” Tollin told TheWrap.
Morningside is the same high school that produced former WNBA superstar Lisa Leslie. She dominated the court there as a student from the mid to late 1980s.
Tollin is a Philadelphia native who has become a successful TV/film producer and director in Los Angeles. No matter where his career has taken him, Tollin said he keeps coming back to Morningside.
"They had a 20th reunion in 2013, which was our first shoot," Tollin says. "Didn't even make the (film festival) cut. We would just pick up the five guys based on certain events, like Stais was about to have a baby, so we went to Minnesota, Corey decided he wanted to try out to make a comeback in Toronto, so we went to Toronto. Dwight was out of jail and looking at job opportunities, so we followed his job quest. Sean's rap career -- he had a big concert in Vegas so we'd go to Vegas. Donminic, out of the blue, got this incredible unlikely job. We were able to get clearance from his employers. It's pretty amazing when you see this arc of 25 years of these lives."
None of the men ever made the NBA, and “all but one of them has moved away from basketball and they’re all just finding their way in the world,” Tollin told TheWrap. “What I love about this film is it isn’t really a story of triumph or tragedy in any great measure — it is a film about real lives.”
If you missed it, “Morningside 5” will air again on ABC Saturday, August 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT