Q Ball (2019) - full transcript

Documentary that explores the San Quentin Prison basketball squad - teammates and inmates at "the Q" - along their journey of rehabilitation and possible redemption.


MAN #1: Come back.

Come back! Come on! Come back!

- MAN #2: Line!
- MAN #1: It crossed the line!

MAN #3: Hands up, defense!

MAN #1: Nine.

MAN #4: Nice!

Yes, sir!

MAN #5: All the way, real.

MAN #6: Hey, back side.

- MAN #7: Hey!
- MAN #4: Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!

MAN #8: Rim! Rim!

(indistinct shouting)

(clippers buzzing)

(indistinct shouting)

MAN #9: Hey, man down!

- MAN #10: Yo, alright, winner!
- MAN #9: Yo, man down.

Man down! Man down!

(indistinct shouting)

OFFICER #1: Hey! Get down!

Down! Down!

OFFICER #2: Down! Down!

OFFICER #1: Get down!

(siren wailing)

(alarm blaring,
siren wailing)







(seagulls calling)





(door buzzes)

(man speaks indistinctly
over p.a.)

(indistinct conversations)


- MAN: One.
- Okay.

Two? Got y'all.

(door buzzes)

(man speaking indistinctly
over p.a.)

(switch rattles, engages)

(locks disengage)

(doors open)

ROBINSON: I remember growing up
and hearing about San Quentin.

Man, I think it's a place
that struck fear.


It was a place
that I never wanted to go.

(man speaking indistinctly
over police radio)

I am Lieutenant Sam Robinson.

I'm born and raised
here in California,

right out of Oakland.

I've been here for 22 years.

I worked 10 years on death row.

Maybe six to eight months in,

I witnessed my first murder
here at San Quentin.

And, so, then you know

it's a very,
very serious place.

San Quentin
is the oldest prison

in the state of California.

It's about 20 miles north
of San Francisco.

We've been here on this site
since July of 1852.

For about 130 of those years,

San Quentin was
a maximum-security facility...

ROBINSON: ...in that everyone
who lived at San Quentin,

they were here
for really violent crimes,

and they did a lot of time.

A lot of what happened here
was based upon

medieval practices
to torture people.

The thought process
at that time,

"If you break a person,

you'll get a person
to change."

we normally house about 4,400 inmates

here at this prison.

And our first mission,
of course,

is we house death row.

(door closes)

In the state of California,

if a person
is sentenced to death,

if they're a male inmate,

they're going to be housed

at San Quentin State Prison,

(indistinct conversations)

Our secondary mission

is what we call
our general population.

One day,
the doors open for them.

ROBINSON: Whether they earn it
through the parole board

or they were sentenced
to a definitive amount of time,

once they reach that date,
they leave.

And we're allowed to do things
a little differently...

ROBINSON: ...in terms of
providing rehabilitative services

and access
to the outside world.

MAN: What we going to do today
is, man, we're gonna talk about

what's the impact
on the victims from our crimes.

ROBINSON: We believe that we
have guys leaving prison today

with better outcomes
and more hope for the future.

Given the opportunity,

there are people
who can come to prison

and reclaim the man.


And that's evolved to today

where we have sports activities

that are beyond
just the normal prison fare,

and I think the flagship
right now

is our basketball team

and the partnership
that's developed from that

with the Golden State Warriors.

(indistinct shouting)


♪ Yeah ♪

♪ I'm like "oh, God ♪

♪ Oh, oh, my God ♪

♪ I run the game ♪

♪ Y'all just commentate
from the side ♪

♪ I'm like "oh, God ♪

♪ Oh, oh, my God ♪

♪ Everything I do ♪

♪ You know I do it
for the squad ♪

♪ I'm like "Oh, God" ♪

CUEVAS: The San Quentin
Warriors is the basketball team

that represents
mostly the premier talent.

- MAN #1: Oh!
- MAN #2: Oh!

I would say
the most competitive players

in San Quentin
are on the Warriors.

San Quentin Warriors --
we are the other warriors.

Not the Golden State Warriors,

but we like
a little brother to them.

MAN: For a lot of people,
they could've went in the NBA.

They could've at least got
college scholarships.


And for those dreams
to be derailed,

to come in
and have a opportunity

to prove to themselves that,
"I could have made it,"

that, "I was that good,"
is huge.

That's what
they really playing for.

Some of these guys
missed they calling.

They should have been

on a Division I
basketball team.

But for whatever reason,
they didn't make it.

So then they come in here,

and they find out that there is

a legitimate basketball program

where you're going
to play somebody

from the coaching staff
of the Golden State Warriors

at the end of the season.

We beat them,
you beat a NBA player,

and you get to go back

and look at yourself
in the mirror and say,

"You know what?
I can make it."

MAN: And last year was, like,
the cream of the crop

because not only did
we beat them,

but they had
the 2017 NBA trophy with them.

MAN: We got to party
with that thing.

We got to do something
Charles Barkley never did...

- Exactly.
- ...Patrick Ewing never did.

- Exactly.
- We touched the trophy, man.


♪ Oh, my God ♪

♪ Everything I do ♪

♪ You know I do it
for the squad ♪

- MAN #1: Oh!
- MAN #2: Oh!

MAN #3: Nice, nice. Nice.

That's nice.


ROBINSON: This season,
you got Harry Smith,

also known as "ATL."

On the basketball court,
he's called "The Phenom."

HARRY: Basketball
is all I've ever had.

I'm not locked up.
I'm not caged up.

I'm not in prison.

This is where I'm free.

ROBINSON: Tevin Fournette,
also known as "Cutty,"

but I call him
"Swaggy Smooth."

FOURNETTE: Playing basketball
here has done a lot.

I've opened up a lot

and learned some things
about myself

that I never really,
you know, knew.

ROBINSON: Allan McIntosh,
also known as "Black,"

but I call him, "PTSB --
Programmed to Score Baskets."

McINTOSH: The sweetest
sound to me in basketball

is the swish of the nets.

When I'm shooting,
I hear it a lot.


Anthony Ammons, aka "Ant,"

also known as
"Half Man, Half Amazing."

AMMONS: When I step on
a basketball court,

I'm at home.

I'm at home.


Best player,
Harry "ATL" Smith.

Harry Smith is by far...

...the most talented player

that I've ever played with.

By far.

(indistinct shouting)

He has NBA talent.

His physical strength,

his understanding
of the game.

MAN: Pop on him, man.
Pop on him, man.

He can just take over games --

playing defense...

MAN: Oh!

...scoring at will.

He has everything
you're looking for.

He's got size.

He's 6'5 ", 6'6".

He's 245, 250 pounds solid.

The kid is strong as an ox.


Way to play.
Way to step up.

Play tough. Play tough.

What he can do,
nobody else can do,


(indistinct shouting)

...it can be frustrating

when he won't trust
his teammates.

MAN: (groans)

TAYLOR: He's one of the best
individual basketball players,

but you'll have him
on the court,

and there's a play
that's supposed to be ran...

TAYLOR: ...and he's not
running the play.

MAN: (screams)

Also Harry's an emotional guy --

real emotional.


His problem is here.

(indistinct conversations)

My name is Harry "ATL" Smith.

They pretty much gave me
this name, "The Phenom."

I'm 31 years old.

I'm from --
Originally, I'm from Atlanta.


HARRY: I really had
a great childhood.

I had, like, a Disney-like-kid
childhood, you know?

HARRY: That's the authentic
Harry right there, man,

when I was a kid,
when it was all innocent.

HARRY: My mom,
she's a microbiologist.

HARRY: That's my mom.
That's the queen right there.

My dad was actually
a police officer

before he passed away
when I was 2 years old.

HARRY: You know,
I always just wonder, like,

how we are,
how we similar with each other.

You know what I mean?

HARRY: Living life,
I really wasn't exposed

to the realities of the world

until, like,
I got a little older.

I've been down --

I've been incarcerated 7 years.

I got to San Quentin in 2014.

As soon as
I got off the bus, man,

I was just flooded
with all this, like,

"Man, come try out.

Come play for the team."

HARRY: And as soon as
I came in, man,

they embraced me,
they accepted me.

This is a picture of

when Draymond Green
came in with Durant.

It was inspirational, man,

because they asked him
a question, like,

"Man, out of all of these guys,

do you see anybody
that could play

on the professional level?"

My jersey number
was number 11 at the time,

but he was like,
"Yeah, number 11 right there.

Brother right there,
he got it."

So I kind of even
ran with that, man.


HARRY: So coming into 2018,
my last year,

that's the goal.

That's a dream of mine,

is to be
the first convicted felon

to suit up in a NBA jersey.

HARRY: That's why this season
is so instrumental.

I'm 31, so the window
is really small right now.

It's probably gonna be
one shot.

You see what I'm saying?



(indistinct conversations)

HARRY: Lord Father,
thank you for this amazing food

that was blessed
by my big bro.

You know what I mean?
I thank you for the camaraderie.

I thank you for the fellowship
and just us coming together.

In Jesus' name we pray.


I'm feeling --

Go ahead.
You got first.

Thank you.


Well, today for lunch,

we're having burritos
which consist of

sausage that we can buy
in the canteen, of course,

chili, onions, tomatoes,
sodas, and chips.

It's not healthy at all.

But you know what?
It's filling.

That's why we put
the tomatoes on there.


I say, what's your plan
when you get out?

First of all,
when you getting out?

I mean, is it real,
real close or --

'Cause I thought
you've been getting out

for the last 2 years,
you know?


- I thought it was gonna be two months away.
- Yeah.

Are you scared?

I ain't scared, bro.
I'm just --

No, don't --
No, no. Be honest.

Be honest with yourself.

I'm going to be honest.
I ain't scared, bro.

I just --

I really want to get out there
and be somebody.

AMMONS: What's your plan if you
fail and struggle out there?

Well, the issue,

it's really just me staying
on this righteous path.

You know what I mean?


and not allowing
the temptations of the world

to swallow me up,

because legalized weed,
all type of stuff out there,

you know what I mean?

It's socially accepted.

So just not getting sucked up
into that culture

and just continue to keep doing
what I've been doing in here.

But still,
you want to be mindful

- of the rules of probation.
- HARRY: Yeah.

AMMONS: You still a felon.

They can still search your car
when they want to.

- You are still your number.
- HARRY: Yeah.

AMMONS: If you come in contact
with the police in the wrong way,

you know you're
coming back to prison.

If we start now,

we can send you out of here
with a great season,

but it got to start now.

- I know, bro.
- It's got to start right now.

McINTOSH: The men, they got a
commitment from you to go hard.

I'm there. I'm ready.

- Y'all already know.
- AMMONS: Good.

- HARRY: For sure.
- I go hard every game, so...


- I know. I know you do.
- What you say?

- The little five minutes.
- My little five minutes.

You know what I mean?
I play hard.

- HARRY: (laughs)
- McINTOSH: I know you do.

MAN #1: Fellas,
keeping everybody on the sideline.

Warriors, bring it in.

- MAN #2: Warriors!
- MAN #3: Let's get it!

MAN #1: Let's get it.
Let's get it. Let's get it.

Game faces on.

CUEVAS: All right. Look.

We getting ready
to start our season.

Being that we going into
the first game,

I'm going to bring up
the contract,

player contract.

My name is Rafael Cuevas.

I'm the head coach
of the San Quentin Warriors.

I was sentenced to
16 years to life in prison.

If you wasn't here last season,
then you might not know,

faith-based program,

and we interacting with people

coming in from the streets,

So we gonna hold ourselves
to certain conduct.

CUEVAS: I think there's
a lot of talent

and a lot of heart
out here,

guys that are
willing to learn.

And that's what I want
as a coach

are the guys who feel like
they're not a finished product

and can improve their game
and grow as men.

Number one,
follow instructions.

Number two, make a commitment
to physical conditioning.

Number three,
commit to scheduled practices.

Number four,
participate in team meetings.

Number five, be responsible
on and off the court.

Number six,
demonstrate integrity.

And number seven,
be a positive team member.

Everybody signs this contract.

Without signing this contract,
you ain't putting on a jersey.

You definitely
ain't getting in a game.

All right.
It's good to see y'all.

Let's go.

"Warriors" on three.

- CUEVAS: One, two, three.
- ALL: Warriors!


CUEVAS: Keep the lead hand
in the passing lane.


- Two-man weave!
- Give me two lines down there


Offense in the motion.

Defense, let me hear you talk,

Make the rotation.

Everything goes.
Let's go.


CUEVAS: Box out!

Nice D.
Let's get that rebound.

- I got you.
- Nice, nice.

Okay, D, you got to see it.


CUEVAS: Harry is going home
this year.

- Oh!
- Good double on the baseline.

So I think this might be
the last chance

to make a run
with this team.

- Oh!
- Oh, like that?

CUEVAS: Wait, hold ball!
Hold ball! Hold ball!

Bring it in, everybody.
Everybody, bring it in.

(crow caws)



CUEVAS: I played on the team
for four years.

I was the starting point guard,

and they kind of groomed me
to be the coach.

You cannot let the man
come off the screen

in this direction.

I took the program
in different directions

than it had
traditionally been.

MAN: Good block.

CUEVAS: Nice finish, Ant.

I chose not to do a cut.

I chose to keep anybody

that was willing to come out
and put in effort.

Good rotation, Nol.

A lot of people
had a problem with that.

Guys thought because
we were friends...

CUEVAS: ...they were gonna get
a lot of playing time.

They had it made.

They didn't have to do
anything, just kick back,

and that was not the case.

CUEVAS: Hold ball. Sub.

HARRY: It's hard to see him
as a coach.

It's like, you know, you just
want to go sub yourself in.

Like, "Man, come on.
Get out the way."

CUEVAS: Stop, stop,
stop, stop, stop.

- Because you lost it, right?
- Yeah.

That's how you ended up
wide open out there.

- Without that screen.
- I hear you.

but you got caught on the screen
'cause you was --

I've had some issues
with the coach.

HARRY: You know,
I had a bit of a attitude.

- Hey, hey.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa.

MAN: Hands up!

I got discipline,

a couple game suspensions.

CUEVAS: Way to get in
the passing lane, Dejon.

Don't back out of it.

His biggest challenge
coaching convicted inmates

is he's a convicted inmate.

Who are you to tell us
what we know?


Good practice, y'all.
Good practice.


Tone, first word?

Look, two days from now,
first game.

We playing to win.

We here at full strength.

Let's be here fully.
Let's go.

If I didn't talk to you about
getting a number this week,

you won't be playing this week.

Every week we got 15 jerseys.

We gonna suit up 15 men.

With that being said,

I'm gonna give the circle
to Corn.

Yeah, so I got caught
smoking weed,

got a dirty pee test,

so I'm suspended
for three games.

And that sums it up.

- How do you feel about that?
- And we support you, too.

A little --
I feel like I deserve it.

- MAN: Okay.
- Because like you said,

- I signed that contract.
- Okay.

We found that basketball
is one of the easiest ways

to embrace guys that are really
far removed from growth.

Some of the toughest,
meanest guys on the yard,

you know, they'll tell you,

"I'm never going to
a self-help group,

but I'll play
some basketball with you."

So that's our opportunity

to just maybe take
a baby step with a guy.

All right.
Let's bring it in.

- Let me say one thing?
- Yes, sir.

Want to thank y'all
for welcoming me back.

I know it's kind of hard

to welcome in
an old-new team member, but --

- You family.
- ...I appreciate y'all

welcoming me back,

and thank y'all for y'all
support and y'all prayers.

I appreciate it.

All right. On three.

On three, "Warriors."

- CUEVAS: One, two, three.
- ALL: Warriors!

- Come on.
- Do what you got to do.

(indistinct conversations)


I think -- I sit back,
and I think about it every day.

I think about the crime
I committed.

I think about how much pain

I've caused
the victim's family,

and it hurts,
the crime I committed.

I wonder if I will ever
walk out of here,

and sometimes I say

that I shouldn't walk
out of here

because I murdered
a innocent individual.

(helicopter blades whirring)

AMMONS: I saw a lot of violence
growing up.

I saw my first murder
when I was about 11 years old.

I remember a guy got shot

in front of
my apartment building.

My mom was like,
"Okay, go to school."

AMMONS: My mother was
a drug addict all my life.

Me and my sister there
for nights,

and we're there by ourself.

My father is nowhere
to be found.

I felt abandoned.

I felt no one saw me.

I felt no one heard me.

Even though
I was speaking loud,

and I was screaming loud,

no one heard me.

So I started gangbanging.

A lot of the stuff I did,

I did for, "Oh, you see me.
You hear me."

You get the acknowledgment

for the negative things
that I did.

"Oh, you beat that dude ass."

"Yeah, I did that."

"Oh, man.
Good looking out, homie."

So that was a sense of love
for me.

That made me feel good.

That made me feel like,

"Oh, man. They with me.

This is my new family."

I was 16 years old.

I think about it every day.

I think about,

"What if I wouldn't
have pulled the trigger?"

I didn't have a weapon
to force my mom to hear me

or nothing like that,

But guess what?

"You're gonna hear
what I have to say,

so these bullets are gonna
talk to you now."

PRODUCER: And what's
the sentence you're serving?

102 years to life.

MAN (over p.a.):
Hey. Good morning.

How everybody doing
this morning?

Mic check, hoo-rah.

Put some music on.



- Yeah, Tone.
- Yeah, yeah.

- What up?
- Y'all know what it is.

- Y'all know what it look like.
- It's hanging.

Game day. Game day.

Game day. Game day!
Twin, what's happening?

We going to be all right.

We want they best game.

CUEVAS: Game one is something
that we all look forward to.

MAN: Yeah!

It's a big deal.



Once a week, men
from the outside, free men,

come into prison to play
basketball with convicts.

It's amazing.

ROBINSON: There are
volunteer community teams

from all over
who, on every Saturday,

come inside the prison,

and they play against
our basketball team.

ROBINSON: And you get these
two very, very different

dynamics of people.

It almost works like the UN.


It's our own basketball court.

In essence, it is our
own little United Nations.


I think both sides are blessed.

(indistinct conversations)

Big man!

(indistinct conversations)

Big fella.

MAN: Ooh!


San Quentin populace,
welcome to the 2018 season,

5 years into the new age
of Aquarius.

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home

♪ Of the brave ♪


(man shouts indistinctly)

CUEVAS: Let's go.
"Warriors" on three.

One, two, three.

ALL: Warriors!

TAYLOR: And the 2018 Warrior
basketball season starts off.

Pat Lacy pulled the ball,
feed the ball back out to John.

John step back three-pointer.

Count it, the face.

The Phenom holds it up.

Got P.L. Smooth on him.

Crossed him over
on the reverse.

- Yes, sir! Let's Go!
- Nice finish.

TAYLOR: Swaggy Smooth
with the ball,

spinning inside.

I never knew the level
that they play on,

the intensity they play on.

You know, we just like, "Okay.

Yeah, this dude
from Silicon Valley.

He ain't from West Oakland.
He ain't from where I'm from."

So it's like, he ain't got
that much aggression as me.

Solid block right there.

Never judge the book
by its cover.

That's something
that prison teaches you.

TAYLOR: Down the lane.
Oh, good move!

SMITH: They come in here.
They want to beat us.

They don't care,
Blood, Crip, where you from.

"Look. We coming here.
We playing ball.

We coming to smash y'all."

And we come in
with the same attitude.

TAYLOR: Oh, and it was stolen
right back.

CUEVAS: Bring it in!
Bring it in!

Make him drive past you

because the defense
is rotating.

Just trust the defense
to rotate.

They're wearing down.

- Let's go, y'all!
- CUEVAS: They're wearing down.

- Let's go!
- Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Hold on. Whoa, whoa. Wait.

Don't get too excited.

You got to rotate on defense.

Do not fall off.
Do not fall off.

Right now, they gonna try
and make a push.

Keep your foot on their throat.
Let's go.

MAN: Good job, y'all.

TAYLOR: There's the switch.
Dallas with it.

Kev with the ball.

Kev runs into The Phenom
with it,

Here's the fast-break

The Phenom...


Not the Sprite commercial!

- Line!
- Right there.

TAYLOR: Ball back down,
low off the glass,

The Phenom with the rebound
and the bucket.

MAN: All day.


- CUEVAS: Get back!
- SMITH: Come on, man!

TAYLOR: Goes over to Shaw.
Tossing the ball over.

P.L. Smooth with it.

CUEVAS: We don't need that.

"Bam," get Harry!

Go now. Check in now.

TAYLOR: Made a correction.

CUEVAS: Harry, come here.

(indistinct conversations)


- Yeah.
- Let's go.

Yes, sir.


TAYLOR: No-look pass down low.

Instant no-look pass.

MAN: Whoa!

TAYLOR: We got a tie score,

Rollins right there
going another direction,

throws it up.

Oh, he was hammered
under there.

Gene Hackman,
and we got a foul.

(indistinct shouting)

That's a bad call, man.

You can't bail him out
'cause he missed the layup.

TAYLOR: Riley going
to the line to shoot.

58 to 58.
25 seconds on the clock.

MAN: Box out!

TAYLOR: Shot is up.

That's good.
It's a one-point game.

Warriors' ball, down by 1.

TAYLOR: Ball comes
in at the center line.

Clock started.

20 seconds on the clock.

Black with the ball,

feed the ball out
to Swaggy Smooth.

15 seconds on the clock.

Swaggy Smooth
on the right side.


Put it up.

It's a blessing, really.

I can say that.

That's real right there.

It's not on the level
that everybody will see.

They come in here just for

the love of the sport
of the game

and to come play with us.

and I appreciate them for that,
for real, for real.


Because they actually
get us out of our mind

of being in prison.

Because when we on the court,
that's what it is.

We on the court.

It's a different thing.

But basketball, for sure,
brought us together.

TAYLOR: Feed the ball out
to Swaggy Smooth.

MAN: Three, two, one!

(air horn blows)

TAYLOR: Count that bucket.

(cheers and applause)

And the San Quentin Warriors

open up with a win.

60-59 over the Green Team.

This is the way you're supposed
to start the season off.

- Good game, man.
- Come back.

Come back. All right?
Yeah, come back.

I love your game.

Basketball is universal.

Basketball is a bridge
between worlds.

It is a bridge
between people

who would probably never see
each other or talk to each other.

Great game,
way to play physical, man.

Appreciate you out there.

And the people that come
in here really care,

and when you have a feeling
that someone cares about you,

you probably start caring about
yourself, too, a little bit.

(indistinct conversations)

I was walking around

ready to kill somebody
for a long time

before I finally killed


CUEVAS: My mother suffered
a lot of trauma growing up

in the Mission District
in San Francisco,

and she became very concerned

with power
and control and safety.

So I remember being very young,

and everywhere we went,

you know,
normal people would say,

"Look both ways
before you cross the street."

But my mother said, you know,

"Look people in their eyes

because that'll tell you
if they want to hurt you or not,

and be prepared

to protect yourself
at all times."

And at the end of the day,

physicality and physical force

CUEVAS: That played a big role
into who I became as a person

when I stepped outside.

And I felt like
the right thing to do

was to create my own sense
of judgment and justice

and enforce this,
push it on other people.

"Do what I think is right,
or I will harm you."


CUEVAS: That escalated
very dramatically,

And it got to the point
that on September 17th, 2004.

ANNOUNCER: Bonds steps in,
looking for home run 700.

Bonds hits one
to left center field.

He hits it well.
Klesko back.

It is out of here.

Home run number 700
for Barry Bonds.

I walked out of

the San Francisco Giants game
at AT&T Park.

(horns honking,
indistinct conversations)

CUEVAS: We got into my car.

Before I could start it,

I heard a group of people
coming behind me on my left.

And as I turned,

I saw a fist
coming towards my face,

and it just banged
off my window.

And this group of people
just kept walking.

I was scared, like startled,

when the fist hit my window.

It was pretty close to my face.

And then I really quickly
became self-conscious and aware

that I had showed fear
in front of my peers.


(exhales sharply)

...I got out of my car,

and I followed
this group of people.

CUEVAS: Timothy Griffith

was the young man
that had hit my window.

He was at the front
of their group.

I pursued them,

and I started screaming,

The (bleep) is your problem?

Do you know me?"

Then I took a cheap shot at him.

We fought for a couple seconds,

and then somebody separated us.

I'm not sure who grabbed me,

but somebody grabbed me
from behind.

I believe somebody grabbed him,

And, in that moment,

I reached in my pocket
and pulled out my knife.


When I broke free of the hold,

I ran back towards
Timothy Griffith,

and I stabbed him five times.

CUEVAS: The last blow
that I struck,

I penetrated
through his rib cage,

and I sliced the bottom
of Timothy Griffith's heart off.

I retracted my hand,

and I saw him step back
and look at his wound.


(exhales sharply)

He looked back up at me,

and I could see that

he didn't know what to do
to stay alive.

He looked at his life
leaving his body,

and that's why I'm in prison.


REPORTER: Sobbing friends
and relatives this morning

laid flowers
and hung giant souvenirs

on the spot
Timothy Griffith lost his life.

I just don't know
how they could take his life

over something so trivial.

Timothy just did not
deserve to die this way.


I remember just falling
to the ground

and thinking, "This --
Like, this can't be true."

I remember I called a couple
of my really closest friends,

and I remember saying to them,
"Tim was murdered,"

and I remember
the first I said it

and just the --

oh, the feeling
of illness and nausea

and just bewilderment,

like, "Who would do --"

I just --
"Who would do this and why?"

This I love
of him and his brother.

This is actually when
my husband and I got married.

Tim was a very sensitive kid,

very loving, a big hugger.

He was my baby.

You know, it feels like
from that moment,

our life changed so drastically,

and it was just kind of
this tumbling

of, like, these things

that you never, ever believe
you'll have to face.


Cuevas has requested
an initial parole hearing.

If he ever gets paroled,
what will be hard for me

is that he is able
to live a life

that Tim will never live.

Why should he get to, you know,

perhaps have a family
or enjoy life

or, you know, run on the beach
of anything like that,

hug, and Tim will never,
ever be able to do that?

(birds squawking)

(dove cooing)


♪ The presence of the Lord
is here ♪

♪ The presence
of the Lord is here ♪

♪ I feel it in the atmosphere ♪

♪ The presence of the Lord
is here ♪

♪ The presence
of the Lord is here ♪

HARRY: I would ask that you
just pour out your Spirit

right now.
Pour your Spirit out, God.

You are our only hope, God,
to salvation, God,

so what I just ask,

and I pray right now
in the name of Jesus, Lord,

that you remove all fear,

remove all anxiety or doubt
out of me right now.

I know everything
that I sacrificed for you, God.

I don't live the same way.
I don't think the same way.

I don't operate according
to the world no more.

Lord, I live for you.

♪ The presence of the Lord
is here ♪

♪ I feel it in the atmosphere ♪

♪ The presence of the Lord ♪

ALL: ♪ The presence of the Lord
is here ♪

♪ The presence of the Lord

♪ The presence of the Lord
is here ♪

Jesus is in the house!
Give God a hand!

Praise God.

It's all right.
You can give him some praise.

It's all right.

God is really good.

Seven years today,

seven years exactly today

I was out there.

I was out there in the city
of San Francisco.

I remember I was talking to God,

and I said, "Lord,

I know what I'm doing out here
is not according to your will."

I always had that shame

to say that I was pimp,
you know, and...

that's what it is.
You're selling women,

and they're exchanging
sexual favors for money,

and I'm taking that money.

And I had two women
that were in a room,

and I remember
sitting outside the hotel,

and I was talking to God.

I said, "God, I know
this pretty much not the path

that you wanted me to go,

but I will gladly and happily
die in my sins

and go to hell."

Sure enough, a week later,
a week later,

I got -- I haven't seen
the streets since.

A lot of people
come into this thing

thinking that we ain't gon'
have to bear our own cross.

I was looking at even when Jesus
was going up to get crucified,

and he needed help
with the cross,

and he called
one of the men out.

I think one of the men
was Simon.

He called Simon out.

Simon was like,
"Man, look. I'm just --"

They like, "Man, look. No.
Help this man get this cross."

And so what that looked like
to me was, man,

this ain't gon' just be
all on him like that.

You ain't just finna just --

You not just finna
be living off his grace

and thinking it's just good

and thinking you could just
live any type of way

because Jesus already did it.

That's that cheap grace
that my boy was talking about.

That's that cheap grace.

MAN #2: Oh, is it good to say
that Jesus can help us

carry our crosses just as well?

HARRY: Praise God.

No. He got a question.
You're all right.

Is it good to say that Jesus can

help us our cross just as well?

- Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
- 'Cause it's similar

to what you said how Simon
was -- He was just walking by.

He said, "No. You going to help
Jesus carry this cross."

- Yes, sir.
- Jesus can help us

- carry our cross just as well.
- Yes, he can.

- Amen.
- Yes, he can.

- Amen.
- Yes, he can.

And I thank you for that.

- Thank you for that.
- I really needed that.

- I really needed that.
- Praise God.

- My cross is heavy right now.
- Praise God.

My cross is heavy right now.
You know what I mean?

And I don't mean
to disturb anybody or --

Nah, you good.

But my cross is heavy right now.

Praise God, folks.
You in the right place.

'Cause everything that happens
is to drive us to God,

not away from him.

God will put us in situations

that either it's gon' break us,

or it's gon' make us.

So everything
that happens to you

is by God.

Don't run from God.

Run to God in the name of Jesus.

- Name of Jesus.
- In the name of Jesus.

- In the name of Jesus.
- God is good, man.

God is good. God is good.

TAYLOR: Good morning, everybody.
This is "Basketball at the Q"

from the San Quentin
Sports Network,

about to get started
with this basketball game.

We thank you
for this game of basketball

that brings us together.
In Christ's name, we pray.

- Amen.
- Amen.

TAYLOR: Dan feed the ball
over to the T.I.

And T.I. moves left, sets,
fires up a 3-pointer.

Count it.
Brett all the way to the rim.


That was a grown-man move.

Ball tipped out by Twan,
comes down to Dan,

Dan up front.
Here comes Blaine behind --

Oh, Dan with the excellent move,

all the way to the rim.
Count it,

and we got a timeout
by the Warriors right there,

and they need it.

We can't put our heads down
if we lose the ball on our feet.

We got to stay in this game.

Warriors on three.
One, two, three.

- Warriors!
- Warriors!

TAYLOR: Isaiah with it.
This offense looks stagnant.

Nobody's moving.
Nobody's cutting.

Everybody's standing around.

Oh! A turnover right here,

Irv going the other way.

If they make this, I'll put it
in the refrigerator.

The final score
is 90 Imago Dei...

That's horrible.

...84 San Quentin Warriors.

The Warriors right now are 3-4.

We got a coach that's coming in
with a new system.

Nice defense.

MAN: When losses start piling
up, the coach gets the blame,

fairly and unfairly.

MAN #2: I know he wants people
to buy into,

"It's bigger than basketball.

Let's share this.
Let's share this opportunity."

But if you're not winning,
nobody's gon' buy into it.

TAYLOR: Clay put it down hard,
backs it back out.

Pass goes over to Jasper.

Jasper -- Oh, good dime,
drop-off, and a bucket.

You, stop bringing your man
to the ball.

TAYLOR: Feed the ball
into Neil McDeal,

another high-arcer,
another assist.

If they juice themselves up

to think that they're better
than they are,

and then the team
comes down the hill

and starts smacking you
around on the court,

you can sit over here
on the sideline and get down.

This is our court.
You have to go out here,

step on this court like you
the baddest team on the planet,

and take it from the opponent.

CUEVAS: We got to find out
how to close, as a team,

offensively, defensively,

mental mistakes,
physical mistakes.

We got to make the adjustment.

I asked Black if he could share
for us today.

(men chuckle)

Everybody smiling

because everybody knows
that I don't talk much,

but I am going to
share my story today.

- Awesome.
- If y'all don't already know,

I been incarcerated 21 years

for possession of a firearm.

I got numerous books.
I do a lot of reading.

You know, it's mostly novels
up here.

You know, I got
a Spanish-English dictionary,

trying to broaden my horizons,
learn a new language.

It's kind of hard, though.
Spanish is very hard.

My favorite book is called
The Alchemist.

It's about this guy who
has to cross this vast desert.

He started on his journey
and say if he makes his journey,

he would get fortunes
at the end of it.

Well, he did
get fortunes at the end of it.

I don't want
to tell anybody the book,

if y'all want to research it.

He did get fortunes
at the end of it,

but it's not monetary.

Put it that way.

It's a great book,

because he had difficulty
at every stop,

so it was --

That's what
I kind of related to,

because, you know,
I walk out of this cell,

there is no telling
what I may cross -- run across,

so, you know, I relate that

to everyday life.


I am serving
a 25-to-life sentence

as a three-striker.

I was convicted of attempted
robbery and a robbery,

and now I'm convicted
of possession of a firearm.

My girlfriend had two kids,

so we were taking care of them
as a couple.

I'm struggling
to make ends meet.

The environment I lived in,

I had no intention
to do anything with the gun,

having it for protection.

Going to the store on my bike.

Police pull me over.

He catches me with the gun,

and I was sentenced
to 25-to-life for it.


If there were no
three-strikes law,

the most I could get
is 3 years in prison.

I've never physically hurt
a man in my life,

and I get the same sentence
as a murderer.


The first like 10 years,
it was really hard

because I knew
I didn't deserve this.

I was angry every day.

I was mad.
I didn't want to talk.

I was just putting myself
in isolation.

But how I cope now
is moving forward,

making myself a better man.


What I would need
when I get out of here

is somebody to take a chance
on me, give me that job.

I got many skills.

I'm not looking for handouts.

I will -- willing to work
for everything that I do.

I mean, I know my heart is pure,

and everyone else would know it
if you give me that chance.


MAN: All right,
that "Break the Mold,"

it go like this. I got you.

MAN #2: Ooh!

MAN #3: All right. That's --
I knew that was harsh.

MAN #4: It's good.

You're good.

(guitar playing)

MAN #5: Playing with --
for whatever reason you find

- not to play with.
- No lie.

Whatever reason you find
not to go to church.

Even though we're not
judging somebody that --

MAN: ♪ I know I am
so far from perfect ♪

♪ But I know I can speak
for more than one person ♪

♪ When I say
I am so tired of hurting ♪

♪ We can change
the world forever ♪

♪ If we come together,
we can break the mold ♪

♪ Mentally constipated, know
my mom, but can't come out ♪

♪ Surrounded by cats,
some real, some fake ♪

♪ Observing way to make them out
who's who ♪

♪ Really ain't got a clue, man,
think it through, cool, man ♪

♪ Kicking it like Luke here
until you see a few things ♪

♪ You see only two lanes,
I take her to 2 Chainz ♪

♪ Now it's time to change,
you part of your crew ♪

♪ So I'm trying
to break the mold ♪

♪ I'm trying to take control,
little mind to the masses ♪

♪ I won't stop till the deaf
can hear me loud and clearly ♪

♪ And the blind see it happen ♪

♪ And that's deep into rapping ♪

♪ I speak out of passion,
alive, please feel me ♪

♪ We all different,
so that really less there ♪

♪ But if we come together ♪

- Check.
- ♪ Someday we will be

♪ I know I am
so far from perfect ♪

♪ And I know I can speak
for more than one person ♪

♪ When I say I am
so tired of hurting ♪



(men shouting,
conversing indistinctly)

Bam, how good were you
when you were young?

Uh, in basketball terms?

- In basketball terms.
- Um, I don't think --

What kind of potential
did you have?

I don't think I knew
my potential.

I think my work ethic

was probably
my biggest downside.

I didn't take anything serious.

I come from Compton,

but I didn't come
from the circumstances where --

that we came out of poverty
or anything like that,

and so that's why I believe
that the choices I made --

It wasn't my circumstance.
It was my choices.

CUEVAS: But to me,
even though you know where

all your food is coming from,

if you're ducking bullets
all morning,

then it's hard to stay out of --

hard not to pick up a gun.

"Somebody's trying to kill me,
so I resort to violence

because I know somebody's
trying to kill me."

Okay, but if you're a young man
in an inner city,

a reason why just some random
person want to kill you?

All kinds of different reasons.

I had a lot of people
that wanted to kill me.


CUEVAS: It's a struggle...


...as far as
me having energy built up

and me being frustrated

by the things
in my surroundings...


...and interacting with people

and receiving energy from them

and sometimes getting scared
or sometimes getting angry.

And I control it
much better now.


I didn't start changing myself
till I got to San Quentin,

and I got into
some of the self-help groups

that really made me
take a good look at myself.


And some of my main problems
that I've dealt with

are control issues.

Today, I still get angry

the same way
I used to get angry,

and I still think

about, like, losing it.

But in that, I've realized
to recognize a blessing,

you know, because
I'm thinking something,

and me thinking something
is not going to hurt anybody.

In the past, I just bypassed
the thought of hurting somebody,

and I just hurt somebody.

MAN: Hey! Hey! Hey!


- Get down!
- Down on the ground!


MAN #2:
Look, look. He catching it on --

MAN #3:
Alert. Down on the yard.


MAN: Down! Hey!


Down! Get down! Get down!

- Down on the yard!
- Down!

- Get down!
- Get down!

- Get down now!
- Get down!

- Get down!
- Get down!

- Down!
- Down!


(man speaking indistinctly)

Get down.

Down! Down!

- Get down!
- Get down!

Get down, get down,
get down, dude.

All, down in the yard.

CUEVAS: We're going to end up
having to go in,

but I really would
like to comment...

- Get away! Get away!
- ...on circumstances.


In prison, ironically enough,

I come to become
very comfortable

with my surroundings.

For a long time,
I was at San Quentin,

and I wasn't afraid of anybody
doing any physical harm to me,

because I knew I was out here
doing the right thing.

But these guys
are just coming in,

and they're attacking
people at random.

I'm frustrated by the situation
right now.

I'm scared for some of the guys
on my team.

I'm scared for myself.


MAN #3: Attention on the yard,

we're back to normal program.

CUEVAS: So I have to acknowledge

a physical threat,

and that's scary,

because my body still responds
to a physical threat

in the same ways that it used
to respond to a physical threat,

and I get tense, and, you know,
my blood starts pumping.

And before I know it,
I'm ready to protect myself,

and I might not need to.

And today, that's very dangerous
for me.

MAN: ♪ Together we can
break the mold ♪

♪ Product of my environment ♪

♪ At least that's
the way it's told ♪

♪ And you don't
plan for retirement ♪

♪ When you programmed
to blow grams and sell dope ♪

♪ Till the day
that you're gone, bro ♪

♪ I swear it's so cold
when you got to call home ♪

♪ A place where you grow
thinking hope is a joke ♪

♪ And everybody broke thinking
that's how it go for some ♪

♪ I know I am
so far from perfect ♪

♪ But I know I can speak
for more than one person ♪

♪ When I say I am
so tired of hurting ♪

♪ We could change
the world forever ♪

♪ If we come together,
we can break the mold ♪

(indistinct conversations)


HARRY: I been playing ball
since I was 6 years old.

That was something
that just stuck.


In high school, I played for
a team called Atlanta Celtics --

Dwight Howard.

You got guys like J.R. Smith.

I played with a lot
of those guys.

(indistinct announcing,

Freshman year,
I would play varsity.

My 11th-grade year,
I did really, really well.

I got recruited
by Cal State Northridge,

which is Division I,
down in South California.

And so I get out to California.

The offer in
Cal State Northridge,

the coach came to me.
It was during a Christmas break.

He said he had some bad news.

The school decided,
with the coaching staff,

they was going in
a whole different direction,

and he was one of the guys
that got laid off.

And it just shattered me.

It broke me. Like,

my whole dream was Division I.

I felt like that was my only
opportunity to get to the NBA.

When it happened, it just put me
in a place

where I was kind of,
like, discouraged,

so kind of got out
in the streets a little bit

and started getting
introduced to some other

realms of life.

Ended up getting a summer gig
working as a bouncer

at the strip club in Frisco.


I was involved with a female.


It was a bit of
an unhealthy relationship.


And I'm at the club,

and at the time, I'm working.

I'm a floor manager.

I was running the stage show.

And she comes down
to the area I was working at,

and she was drunk.

You know, we just have
a little, casual conversation,

and the next thing you know,
she pulled out a bottle.

And so I took
the bottle from her.

I said, "Come on.
Let's go outside."

So we go outside.

When we go outside,
I basically was like,

"Look, so, you drunk, you know?

You need to just shut it down
for the night, you know?

Go back to the hotel, and
I'm-a meet up with you later,

'cause you doing too much."
She basically like,

"No. I'm not going to the hotel.

I'm not doing that (bleep)"
you know, all type of stuff.


And so I'm like, "You know what?
Give me my keys.

Give me my keys to the spot.

You can just do you,"
and she like, "No.

You not finna kick me out,

and all this money
I gave to you, give --

Well, give me my money."

I'm like,
"I'm not giving you no money,

but get out my spot, though."

She wouldn't give me the keys.

I force myself

to snatch her purse
where my keys was at,

and when I for--

Just one bad,
irrational decision.

I accidentally push her
to the ground.


I was sentenced to 8 years,
8 months for domestic violence.

PHYLLIS: Harry was probably
my happiest child.

I have three children.

Harry was always
just happy-go-lucky.

So, he's about 3 or 4
in this picture,

so this would have been around
the time his dad passed away.

I worked night shift
when I first came down here

so I could get my kids
ready for school in the morning

and be at home for them
when they got home from school.

And the reason
I moved to day shift --

'cause Harry was sneak--
got older,

started sneaking out at night,

like, when he was like 12, 13.

So, these are
the crazy pictures.

I have no idea
who this person is.

He just wants to be, like,
in the in-crowd.

He wanted to be,

you know, associated
with all the cool people.

And you wonder
what's going on with him.

Is everything okay?


When he got arrested,

it just really, like,
just hurt me.

It just rocked me to my core,

and I just fell into, like,
a deep depression.

All I could do was go home
and get into bed.

I didn't even understand
what was going on.


(crying) Oh, Jesus.

I did not want my son
to go to prison.

I didn't understand
how it had gotten to that point.

I didn't see how anything good
could ever come out of it.

I just didn't understand at all.


The lifestyle that I was living,

I have to be honest
and be accountable

for the role that I played
being a womanizer,

being a manipulator,

and just being a person
that just used people.

The transition for me
going into prison was, like,

unlike any other transition
I ever had to deal with.

But when I got to San Quentin,

I was able to really just
fully step into the fullness

of what everything
God has called me to be.

I thank God for San Quentin,
'cause this is a place

where you can truly,
truly rehabilitate

and apply the life skills
that they teaching you

into your real-life,
everyday walk.

(indistinct shouting)

ANNOUNCER: And good evening,
everyone. Welcome to Game 3.

Golden State won Games 6 and 7
in the conference finals

and 1 and 2, so they're feeling
confident about themselves,

and they're playing
some really good basketball.

JaVale McGee rolls
to the basket, throws it down.

- Oh!
- (men exclaim indistinctly)

TAYLOR: Going across the lane,
pops back out.

Here comes LeBron James.

18 on the shot clock
in the front court.

George Hill with it.

Cross-court basket --


Rejected by JaVale McGee
on that play!

We just in the gym,
watching the game,

had most of
the fellas show up,

and we got the LeBron
fan club over there.

ANNOUNCER: James up and under,
throws it, off the backboard!

Oh, my God! Let's go!

- What a score...
- Let's go!

...for the Cavaliers.


Here we go.

Where you at, Curry? Show up!

MAN #2:
That's money right there.

MAN: He home.

Warriors come in here
and show us so much love.

I show them love back.

I love them
for what they do for us.

- (men cheering)
- Knocks it down, Kevin Durant

for 27,

- and it's a 2-point game.
- Yeah, baby!

Yeah! That's what he do!

I want LeBron to win this
'cause I want more basketball.

You want him to win this game,

or you want him to win
the series?

This game, not the series.
This game.

I want Golden State
to win it all, in 7, though.

Last-second shot.


(indistinct conversations)

(laughs, speaks indistinctly)

MAN #3: Oh!

McINTOSH: You know, all of us
is missing our families,

so being part of this team
is like an extended family.

It gives us a sense
of purpose and togetherness.

Look, he grabbing him.
Look at this.

- Oh, come on, man.
- He grabbing him.

MAN #3:
Man, that's not a foul --

Bonding on this team
is a living organism.

No, no, no, no, no.

That's exactly how you be
looking in the game, though,

same move. Same reaction,
same response,

- everything.
- Same reaction.

CUEVAS: In prison,
you're in tight quarters,

and you get to know more people
more than just on the streets,

you know, run into a guy,

work with a guy, and go home.

You're not getting away
from this guy.

Hey, coach? You got enough
for the youngster over there?

I have a support system there.

I can go to any one
of these guys

and talk about
what I'm going through.

Me and Black and ATL,

those are the two that I say
are there for me the most,

and that's what a family does.

ANNOUNCER: Shot clock at 5.

Kevin Durant way outside.

Kevin Durant from downtown!

(all cheering indistinctly)


What you think
about that shot, LeBron?

Well, uh, Kevin Durant's
a great player.

- Uh...
- (laughs)

He makes unbelievable shots.

Tonight, uh, yeah,
they were the better team.


- I really wish I had some help.
- (laughs)

Hey, ask him
if he gon' stay, too!

MAN #4: Warriors!


TAYLOR: Starting five
for the San Quentin Warriors --

Harry Smith, AKA the Phenom.

We gon' get on
these dudes right away.

We gon' apply maximum pressure.

- One, two, three. Warriors!
- Warriors!

TAYLOR: It's game time, y'all.

Dale the funky basketball player
for a deep 3!

- In the face.
- Turn it up!

- Let's go!
- The game is over with.

The San Quentin Warriors
take down Lincoln Hill.

Nice game. Nice game.

So, what's up
with the Warriors, man?

- They 6 and 4.
- They 6 and 4.

They're playing a lot better.

MAN: You know,
I was real critical

of the coaches, but you starting
to see it offensively work.

They starting to buy into it.

CUEVAS: Everybody's watching you
under the microscope,

so I need you to support me
in between the lines, right?

If you just trust me,

you know what I mean?
Just trust me.

Let's take it, bro.

- Let's go.
- Let's take this.

TAYLOR: ATL is the LeBron James
of this yard.

He's the one they worry about.
He's the one they talk about.

He's the one they got
to double-team.

TAYLOR: The problem is,
he can be more than what he is.

- That's true.
- He can be more.

You got to play with your team.

TAYLOR: Drops a dime off.

Oh! And he went in
and bashed on it!

MAN: With Cutty playing,

with Ant being back,

Black, right, best scorer
on the yard,

this team is probably
the most talented all around.

- On the reverse. Oh!
- Let's go!

But hold on, but when
they got real tests,

- they got torched.
- You sound like

- you hating right now. Really.
- Nah. I'm disappointed.

TAYLOR: ATL with it, pivot
inside, throw it up in the air.

- Nice goal. Nice finish.
- 2, 1! Zero!

98 to 84.

The San Quentin Warriors
pulled this game out.

- (indistinct conversations)
- Team looking good, bro.

- We been working.
- You doing your thing.

- We been working hard.
- I can tell. I can tell.

- I can tell, man.
- We been working hard.

Appreciate you guys.

(indistinct conversations)

So, you getting ready to go home
pretty soon.

How are you feeling
about all of that?

I mean, I'm ready to go home,
you know,

but little anxiety

around just --

'Cause I'm going home.
I'm not --

I'm not a kid no more.

That's right. You're not.

What's your greatest concern
about leaving here?

I just -- I really
don't want to fail.

I really don't want to fail.

prison's just stripped so much
of my prime away from me.


I think, ATL,

if you don't make it in the NBA,

if you don't get the opportunity
to play overseas,

you want to be a husband.
You want to be a father.

HARRY: All that.

Yeah, so, I mean,
just think of that.

I mean, if you have --
If you're a husband and a father

and you fulfill
those responsibilities,

that's great accomplishment.

'Cause my daughter is somebody
that I feel like that --

At one point, she was
the only reason I was living.

I hope she just, you know,
can forgive me...

- Mm-hmm.
- ...to just give me a chance...

- Mm-hmm.
- ...to just, you know,

be a father.


One of my dreams
that's always kept me

making the right
decisions in here

is the day that I actually get
to reunite with my daughter.

My daughter doesn't know
who I am.

She doesn't know that I exist,

and I don't really know
where she's at.

I know she's in Atlanta.

But wherever you are,
I want you to know

that I love you,
and I'm coming home,

and I'm sorry.


JACKSON: There's that struggle
between being who he is

and then saying that he wants
to be this person

but still wanting
that time for himself.


He struggles with just
the thought of failure.


I just want him to live
in his destiny,

who he is as a man.


(indistinct conversations)


Tomorrow, it's going down.

The biggest event on the yard,

the Warriors is coming in.

When they come in,
that's our game.

That's our championship game.

ROBINSON: The game against
the Golden State Warriors

is the game of the year.

It's what they work up
to all season long.

CUEVAS: A lot of our guys, this
is the greatest opportunity

they'll ever had to play
basketball in life,

let alone in prison.

Let's bring it in.

We got 22, 25 people, and I got
to make the decision

on who's wearing
these 12 jerseys.

The biggest draw, the biggest
crowd, everything is magnified.

Everything is intensified.

Just a couple of
reminders before we go --

Don't let your guard down.
Still is a prison.

You don't want to go
wandering off by yourself.

We're not playing against
Steph Curry.

We're not playing against
Kevin Durant,

but we're playing against
the front-office staff.

We're playing against
the coaches.

Those guys are not slouches.

I'm going to definitely say that
Cutty is going to play tomorrow

because Cutty went to the hole
for some (bleep)

- that he didn't do.
- (applause)

Just for them to even care,
you know,

show that type of attention
to those

who are behind these walls, man,
that's a blessing right there.



- Ant.
- (applause)


These guys know us by first
and last name.

Basketball did that.

They came in for a game
and met a friend.

And the last jersey
is going to go to Harry.


CUEVAS: Harry is going home
on Friday,

and that is a really big deal.

I also know that he has a lot
of opportunity ahead of him.

I'm hoping that he gets a tryout

with the Golden State
Warriors' D League affiliate.

He wants it bad,
and he knows that

this is his only opportunity
to make it happen.

No guarantees, but this is
an opportunity that touches one

in millions upon
millions of people,

and he's going to be the one.

One, two, three.

ALL: Warriors!

(indistinct conversations)

- ATL!
- All day!

- All day!
- They stupid.

HARRY: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

- Yeah.
- Welcome to San Quentin.

KENT: You ever done anything
like this before?

EVANS: I mean, I've been to
prison before, but not like...

KENT: This is
a little bit different.

EVANS: Yeah, not like this.

It looks crazy.

DRAKE: ♪ Because I got
a really big team ♪

♪ And they need some
really big rings ♪

♪ They need some really
nice things ♪

♪ Better be coming
with no strings ♪

♪ Better be coming with
no strings ♪

♪ We need
some really big rings ♪

♪ I got a really big team ♪

♪ Man, what a time ♪

♪ To be alive ♪

♪ You and yours ♪

♪ Verse me and mine ♪

♪ And I got a really big team ♪

♪ And they need
some really big rings ♪

♪ Better be coming
with no strings ♪

♪ We need
some really nice things ♪

♪ We need
some really big rings ♪

♪ We need
some really nice things ♪

TAYLOR: Give it up
for the San Quentin Warriors!

♪ I got a really big team ♪

♪ Man, what a time ♪

San Francisco right here
in the building!

Everybody in the middle!


Coach, can you come
and say a few words, Coach?

MILES: Yeah. Yeah.

Like he said,
my name is Aaron Miles.

I'm the head coach
of the Santa Cruz Warriors,

Golden State's G League team.

Be honest with y'all,
I got a older brother

that's been locked up
and in prison,

and when he was
going to get out,

I was questioning, like,
what was he going to do, man?

It's like his whole life,
he was in the streets

selling drugs, pimping,

so I was nervous for him,

but he's out, man,
doing great, man,

and I just say that
just to encourage

you guys, man,
to stay focused

because no matter
what anybody out there

saying about you guys, man,

there's something special meant
for you when y'all get out,

and I'm going to keep praying
for you guys, man.


(kazoo blows)

MAN: Let's go, Coach!

(indistinct conversations)

MAN: Here we go!

TAYLOR: Up out of the tip,
go up and down,

Jesse Blue with it.

Let's go!

Work it!

TAYLOR: Jack that thing up.
Feed the ball over

to Half Man, half amazing.

He's looking at Khalid
like he's fresh meat.

MILES: Go. Work him.

TAYLOR: Pull up, Jay.
Pound it.

- MAN: There it is.
- (applause)

TAYLOR: He's on the move,
ball to Dr. Khalid...

MAN: Go catch it, Harry!
Go catch it!

TAYLOR: ...down to the baseline.


And rejected by the Phenom,
big-man move up in there.

That was real beast-y.

MILES: You got to box him out,

TAYLOR: Up to the Phenom,
here is the matchup.

DeMarco look at him like,
"I can handle that guy."

This game is on!

TAYLOR: On the drop.
Throw it up.

MAN: Yeah, that was
in your face again.

That was in your face again,
you bum.


DeMARCO: Stop turning
the ball over, man.

Why we dribbling
into four people?

It's not...

I'm working too hard,
these games we play.

Hey. He's right.
We got to be aggressive

at the same time.
I understand that,

but I had a straight line
to the basket, CD.

We're good.
Let's be smart.

MAN: No turnovers like that.

Turn it up.

MAN: Stop crying, you bum.

You're going to sit
with the rookie.

- Heck yeah!
- Yeah!

MAN: Please! Come up in here
with that soft (bleep)


You going to get me sent
to the hole. (laughs)

The Golden State Warriors,

three championships
in the last four seasons.

But don't get it confused.
This ain't the NBA.

This is San Quentin.

- Nick, I'm here.
- DeMarco with the ball.

TAYLOR: Oh, nice, Rockman hit it
and goes off the back.

MAN: It's all you.
Shoot that.

Shoot that.

Oh, and Captain Kirk,

a deep three-point exfoliation
on that one.

Feed the ball to Swaggy.

He grabs it and say,
"Get that out of here."

Robert Lee is horrible.

TAYLOR: Try to feed the ball
up court. Here comes Nick Curry.

Fires that one up.

In the face.

There we go!

TAYLOR: That's Nick Curry,
son of Steve.

Oh, DeMarco going to work
on the Phenom,

throws it up off
the glass and in.

There you go.
Yeah, DeMarco.

TAYLOR: DeMarco steps inside,
nice pivot move.

CUEVAS: Harry,
you better guard him!

- Let's go.
- There with the double-team.

DeMarco fires up a three.

Oh, in the face.

CUEVAS: Harry, listen.

Do not leave Chris DeMarco.

- Yeah.
- Don't switch off of him.

He's just hedging!

You got to step up
and stop the penetration.

Body him.
Stay with him.

I don't care where he goes.

Beat the (bleep) out of him.

MILES: Ball game!

TAYLOR: DeMarco with the ball,
it's showtime.

CUEVAS: Harry, get inside him!

TAYLOR: DeMarco on the move.

All the way to the rim, no good.

CUEVAS: Nice boy!
Get on that!

TAYLOR: Half Man, Half Amazing
coming the other direction.

- Push!
- Go, go, go, go!

TAYLOR: Fires that up,
oh, off the glass.

The bank was open on that.

- Nice.
- Come on!

- Yeah!
- Your game is garbage.

You are who we thought you were!

TAYLOR: DeMarco put it
on the ground, on the drive,

put it up and in,
another grown man moving.

He said something to somebody
who was talking crazy to him.


TAYLOR: Down, Lloyd go...
oh, and good cut to the basket.

- Yes, sir.
- Oh!

We got a game right here.

We're getting into crunch time.

This is where everything counts.

Feed the ball, VTSV over
the curl, fires that one up.

The veteran.

MAN: Nice move, boy!

TAYLOR: We got a six-point game
right here

with 3 minutes left!

- Come hustle!
- See the ball!

TAYLOR: This is where it always
falls apart for the Warriors.

Can they hold it out?

The Phenom with it,

this is who you want
with the ball.

Shot is up.
No good, in and out, heartbreak.

- Oh.
- Oh, man!

One minute!
One minute!

TAYLOR: With 1 minute left
in the game...

- Play D!
- ...here comes DeMarco

leading the fast break,
cross court, goes over.

Young Kirk fires it up.

And now we got a game late.

CUEVAS: Listen. Listen.
It's simple.

It's who wants it more?

It's going to come down
to wanting it right now.

That's what's going to win us
the game,

wanting it right now, not later.

Don't make the moment too big.

We've done this
thousands of times.

This is just a day
we win right here.

CUEVAS: We ain't losing nothing.
We got this. Let's go.

ALL: Warriors!

The crowd is getting antsy.

This game can go
either way right now.

The Missile brings it up,
just Davis on him again.

MAN: Go to work, boy.

TAYLOR: Feed the ball out
to the Phenom.

MAN: Make a move, Harry!

TAYLOR: Comes the Phenom
with the ball.

- Wow!
- Good move, man!

- Yeah!
- The franchise is back!

CUEVAS: Nice move, Harry!

He can't hold you!

Let's go!
Let's go!

Let's go!
Let's finish this, man.

Come on, man.

TAYLOR: 14 seconds on
the clock, 13.

13, 12, 11...

There's a double-team.

Turnover right there.

Here comes the Phenom
on the move.

The Phenom puts it up and in.

(cheers and applause)

Give it up
for the San Quentin Warriors

with the score 93 to 88.

This is a back-to-back victory.

Nobody has ever won


- Good game, man.
- Thank you.

(indistinct conversations)

Last one, huh?

CUEVAS: You know, we had ups
and downs the whole season,

but some of the guys has worked
really hard for this moment.

How do you feel about ATL?

Of course I'm going to miss him.

Hey, if we can, fellas,
let's get in a circle!

I'm very happy to see him
leaving prison,

and I'm only going to
miss him for a while

because I'm going to
chase you out of here,

but go ahead, Harry.

(light cheers and applause)

Man, I don't know
what to say, man.

I'm at a loss for words, man.

It's bittersweet.

Definitely with this program,
it's been huge in my life, man.

It was the first time I played,
you know, up under a coach,

that was really more concerned

with character-building,
you know,

and teaching life skills
through the sport of basketball,

so I learned a lot in here,
more than

I probably would've ever learned
playing basketball

on the streets, man, so I
definitely appreciate you, man.

Y'all really my family, bro.
You know what I mean?

All of y'all, bro,
I'm going to miss y'all, man.

MAN: Stand together.
Stand together.

Give it up for ATL!

CUEVAS: Give it up for ATL!


(indistinct conversations)

He's ending on this high note,

but I hope it is not his last
game in a Warriors jersey.

That's how I feel.

Kent and I want to talk
to you real quick.

All right. Last year,
you asked me

about the G League tryout.

Yeah. Yeah.

Well, we happen to have
a tryout next Sunday.

It's a private workout.

I'm not just inviting
you because.

HARRY: Yeah.

Like, it's going to be
real players out there.

It's going to be tough,
so you're going to have

a short period of time
to get ready for it.

- All right?
- Yeah.

But if you still want to do it,
we got a spot for you.

Definitely, definitely.

I'm going to work
my behind off, man.

- I got you.
- All right.

- Yes, sir.
- No promises.

You're going to have to earn
the training-camp spot.

No, no, no.
I'm... Yeah, yeah.

- All right.
- No, no. Yes, sir.

- See you next Sunday then.
- Yes, sir.

Hit me up when you get out.

- I will.
- Then we'll talk.

(indistinct conversations)

They did it too, bro.
They said, "Sunday."

(both laugh)

- That's what I'm talking about.
- Yeah.

That's what I'm talking about.

Cutty! Cutty!

Hey, where's that trophy at?

(indistinct conversations)

Two pictures, and we out!

MAN: Guys, one.

You guys ready?
Here we go! One, two...

(camera shutter clicks)


JACKSON: So, wow, this day
is finally here.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

And can I just say how proud

I am of everything
that you've done?

I'm going to be all right.

I can make a declaration
right now to you

that I'm going to do
the right thing,

and I'm going to live right,
and I'm going to walk

and live according
to the standard

that you poured into me
and that you showed me.

That's serious,
and I love you so much,

and I just want
to make you proud,

and I hope I do that.

You will.
I know that you will.

Thank you, ATL.

- All right, Mom.
- Thank you.

Okay. (sniffles)


ROBINSON: There is a need
in prisons to have a place

where you put bad, bad guys
who want to do bad, bad things,

to keep those guys
separated from other people.

But also it has to be a place
that offers people

the opportunity
to reclaim themselves.

(indistinct conversations)

The perception is that,
once a guy is in prison,

he's locked away, and you won't
have to deal with him no more,

but that's not necessarily true.

I'll see you out there.
We'll hang out.

And we hooping.
And we going to get...

For sure, we going to put our
team together, our own together.

In the state of California,

nearly 90% of the people
who are incarcerated,

they're returned
to the community,

and they live next to you.

They're passing you
on the sidewalk in the city.

And so how do you want
the guy to return?

Do you want a guy who's been
locked away in the box with bad,

bad dudes and honing in bad,
bad dude skills?

Or do you want a guy
who we've given

all the opportunities
to educate himself,

to gain some employable skills,

to figure out
where he went wrong?

How do you want a guy to return?

Really appreciate you, bro,
from day one since I got off.

Like I told you,
you the first person to give me

my first pair
of basketball shoes, bro.

I'm praying to God, brother,

that they let you up
out of here, man.

Either way,
we do good work in here.

We done changed the life
that we live.

- Yeah.
- And now, just day to day,

just take advantage of
the blessings that are here.

HARRY: Yeah.

- I love you.
- I love you too, bro.

ROBINSON: Hope has real currency
inside of a person.

Man, just to have just
some of it, it means a lot.



CUEVAS: Today, I've been
incarcerated 13 years

for the murder
of Timothy Griffith.

I'm expecting to go
to the Board of Parole

at the end of the year.

REDMAN: I do believe that people
can change.

I really do.

I also believe that there's
something about a person

who can take
another person's life,

and I don't know
if that can change,

and I believe that there
should be programs in jails

and in prisons
to help people,

but that's what it should do
is help you

while you remain in prison.


CUEVAS: Today, I feel
great deals of guilt

and regret and shame

around my actions that night
and other incidents

where I was extremely violent
in my life.

I know I won't get
those moments back,

and in my present,

I'm afforded great opportunity.

I feel a big responsibility
to reach out to people

that are in similar situations
because I feel like

if I can reach
somebody like me,

then I can save somebody
like Timothy,

and if I can reach somebody
that looks like me

and save them from themselves,

then that's my responsibility.

It's not an opportunity for me.

It's my responsibility.


(insects chirping)

GUARD: Harry Smith.

8-2-13-law, 6-law, 8-law,

I have one under escort
from 8-2

to R and R.










HARRY: When you get out, you're
not that important no more.

You just blend in with the rest

of the 7 billion
people in the world.



In the Bible, it says that many
are called, but few are chosen,

so I feel that as I'm getting
closer and closer to the house,

I feel more of an anxiety,
more of a weight.

We just hope that you guys
haven't given up on us.

We're sorry for what we done.

And we're still here.

GUARD: What's your last name?

HARRY: 350, Smith.

- Mr. Smith?
- Yes, sir.

CDC number?

HARRY: AF2744.

- Date of birth?
- 12-13-'86.

- And county you're heading to.
- San Francisco.

MAN: All right.

Copy of your parole

(radio chatter)

- Thank you.
- How you doing, bro?

- All right.
- Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

It's that day.


Ooh, wee.

MAN: Mr. Smith,
there's your dress ups.

- There's that for you.
- Thank you.

MAN: Thank you.

Thank you.

I can put this on right now,

MAN: I'm pretty sure you can.

All right. Ready?

(man laughs)

Put on a pair of Js, man.

Yeah, this is it right here.

MAN: How does that feel, Harry?

Feel like freedom.
It feel good.

I like this.

Damn! (laughs)

(speaks indistinctly)

Let's show my boy out.

HARRY: You stupid.


Yes, sir.

- Get up, man.
- Dang, bro.

Nah, it's good.

- Man.
- Nah, man. Nah, nah, nah.

You stupid.

All right.
Look, look, look, look, look.

That ain't even a shirt.

Look, look, look,
look, look.

Okay. Okay.

Yeah, just in case.

Just in case.

That's your tiny brother shirt,

- But...
- This is not cool.

This what they doing over there.

No, because you don't go
out there doing what they doing.

Yeah, you ain't tripping off
the shoes though, bro.

- Can I get some...
- Nah, those clean.

Can I get some shoe cam?

Yeah, no, this...
No, and a V-neck at that?

- "And a V-neck at that."
- You don't do V... Come on.

You grown.

You see how he going out casual.

You know, he understand, but he
been here a little bit longer.

You know what I mean?

No, we'll see.
You talking it right now.

- You'll see.
- Love you, man.

- I love you too, brother.
- All right. Enjoy.

- Hey, what...
- Enjoy it.

What... You got to
leave something, bro.

No, you don't need anything.

Forget this place, man,
for real.

Forget this place.

All right?

- All right.
- All right.

- Yeah.
- All right, man.

What old boy saying, "Forget
about all this," that's what...

I don't really agree with that.

You don't never want
to forget this.

- Mnh-mnh.
- No.

I won't never forget this, ever.

MAN: All right.
You guys can grab your stuff.

All right, bro.

- Yep.
- Love you, bro.

- Love you.
- Take it easy, brother.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Good luck out there.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.





HARRY: Bro, I love y'all, man!



Going without saying bye,

Do good things out there, man.

HARRY: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Tell Brother Harris I love him.

All right. I will.

All right? Because I didn't get
to see him last night.




MAN: Control,
this is three five one.

I got three going out on parole.

WOMAN: Control copy,
three five one.







Look at there.






(women scream)

Oh, Jesus!

Thank you, Lord!

Glory, glory, glory, glory!

(indistinct conversations)


HARRY: They can't hold me, bro.

Thank you.

HARRY: Mm-hmm.

Thank you, Lord.

I know, man.


There you go.

(speaks indistinctly)


It's over now, Mom.

It's only beginning, Felisha.

- It's really good.
- It's just the beginning.

It's just the beginning.

This is just the beginning.

I'm glad I got my brother back.










KENT: Thanks for coming out.

I know some of you guys came
from all over the place.

Just so are aware,
all of you guys were invited.

This was an invite-only workout.

If you can make it
to the Santa Cruz roster,

we're thinking about
what we can do

with the Golden State Warriors,

and that's the opportunity

that you guys
are all looking for.

♪ Won't somebody tell me ♪

♪ And answer if you can ♪

♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪



MILES: First off, fellas, man,
way to compete.

We appreciate you guys
coming out here.

Understand that it's not always
going to go your way,

but how you handle it and how
you deal with it is important.

♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ Answer if you can ♪

♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ I've traveled
different countries ♪

♪ I've traveled
in furthest lands ♪

♪ I haven't found one
to tell me ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ Answer if you can ♪

♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ Mm ♪

♪ Won't somebody tell me? ♪


♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ Answer if you can ♪

♪ I want someone to tell me ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ What is the soul of a man? ♪


♪ Ooh ♪


♪ What is the soul
of a man? ♪

♪ Mm ♪



(guitar playing)


♪ A lot things aren't
the same no more ♪

♪ Can't play my life
like a game no more ♪

♪ I wasn't ready
when it rained ♪

♪ But it's funny
how times change ♪

♪ And now it's time
for the game ♪

♪ And everybody knows my name ♪

♪ It's funny how times change ♪

♪ Ugh ♪

♪ Funny how times change ♪

(rapping) ♪ I was fornicating
with four women ♪

♪ I'm living life,
time change ♪

♪ Because yesterday,
I wasn't living right ♪

♪ I was mobbing,
it wasn't conscious ♪

♪ But my honest decision
that led me to something ♪

♪ I can fathom like 9 years
in prison ♪

♪ But now that I'm listening ♪

♪ I'm loving my new
prosperous vision ♪

♪ Old furniture,
no love ♪

♪ Had me feeling indignant,
I had to disregard ♪

♪ Because people change up
like the weather ♪

♪ When they show me
the cold shoulder ♪

- ♪ I just put on a sweater ♪
- ♪ Yeah ♪

(singing) ♪ Now things ain't
the same no more ♪

♪ Can't play my life
like a game no more ♪

♪ Huh,
I wasn't ready when it rained ♪

♪ But it's funny
how times change ♪

♪ And now I'm on top
of the game ♪

♪ And everybody knows
my name ♪

- ♪ Yeah ♪
- ♪ Huh ♪

♪ It's funny how times change ♪

♪ It's funny how times change ♪

♪ Hmm ♪


♪ Yeah ♪