From Showtime: ShowtimeSports Documentary Films has announced “Stand”, an examination of the life of basketball star and social justice activist Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, that will premiere in early 2023. The feature-length documentary details Abdul-Rauf’s unprecedented journey from schoolboy prodigy to NBA All-Rookie team to national pariah. In terms of his athletic abilities and activism, he was Stephen Curry before Stephen Curry and Colin Kaepernick before Colin Kaepernick.

STAND features extensive interviews with prominent basketball and entertainment stars including four-time NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP Curry, nine-time NBA Champion as player and coach Steve Kerr, NBA Hall of Famer and three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal, former NBA player and current basketball analyst Jalen Rose, two-time Oscar winning actor Mahershala Ali and rapper, actor and filmmaker Ice Cube.

The film is directed by Joslyn Rose Lyons, making her feature-length directorial debut. The executive producers are Sarah Allen, and Mike Tollin and Mason Gordon of MSM. The film is produced by Colleen Dominguez with producer Tom Friend and consulting producer David Kelly (Golden State Entertainment).

STAND explores the personal struggles of Abdul-Rauf – born Chris Jackson in Gulfport, Mississippi – and how he overcame overwhelming odds to make it to basketball’s biggest stage.

“Mahmoud’s story is one of intense personal and professional struggles, undertaken with tremendous courage and integrity, resulting in both tragedies and triumphs,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports. “His legacy of athletic achievement, social justice activism and unwavering personal courage serves to inspire the next generation of social justice activists to speak truth to power and gives hope to those battling mental health issues. We are proud to collaborate with Mahmoud and this talented group of filmmakers to set the record straight on Mahmoud’s pioneering work on and off the court.”

“It is an honor to be collaborating with SHOWTIME and the production team and working with our director, Joslyn Rose Lyons,” Abdul-Rauf said. “Joslyn has brought a stellar, brilliant vision to this film. My hope is that my story will help heal and bring new perspective to the world.”

“I’m grateful to be working with SHOWTIME and the team on such a profoundly inspiring story,” said Rose Lyons. “Mahmoud’s journey is one of courage and strength, and it’s an honor to help shine a light in the areas of his life that were left out of focus.”

Ostracized as a kid due to vocal and motor tics and his unmitigated yearning for perfection, Abdul-Rauf may have never escaped the extreme poverty of his hometown if it wasn’t for a diagnosis – Tourette’s Syndrome – and his decision to take up basketball. Finding that the constant and repeated acts of dribbling, shooting, spinning and jumping provided serenity, he would soon become one of the greatest scorers the college game had ever seen while at Louisiana State University. Automatic at the free throw line and with limitless range, he was the precursor to the shooting wonder of Curry.

The film also details Abdul-Rauf’s groundbreaking stand against racism and for social justice, and the backlash that ensued. After changing his name and converting to Islam amid the heightened tensions from the Gulf War, Abdul-Rauf was exiled in his own locker room and a target of hate speech and Islamophobia across the nation. Unable to sit still because of his Tourette’s Syndrome and unwilling to stay silent and cower in the face of prejudice, he elected not to stand at attention during the national anthem prior to a game in 1996. Just two years later, he would go unsigned by any NBA team, despite being in the prime of his career and averaging nearly 20 points per game during the 1995-96 season, setting the precedent for Kaepernick.

More than 20 years later, following the killing of Trayvon Martin and the “I Can’t Breathe” and Black Lives Matter movements, Abdul-Rauf recounts the moments that led him to where he is today and contemplates one important question: Has he made peace with the way he was mistreated?