PHOENIX, Arizona—The popular sport called basketball has been around for over 121 years and loved by so many here in the United States and abroad. Although, the history of this sport has given birth and nurtured some of the greatest athletes around the world, there is one name that still stands alone and very few has ever heard of him.
A group of Texas filmmakers has joined together to bring a documentary feature film to honor the life of Coach Robert Hughes before a global audience. The name of the biopic is “RELENTLESS.”
Hughes coached in Fort Worth, Texas for 47 seasons, winning 1,333 games surpassing everyone who has ever coached boys high school basketball. There have been a select small few who has achieved greatness as high school coaches. Most has certainly been awarded and acknowledged for their accomplishments such as: Morgan Wooten, Bobby Hurley and Ernest Blood—but not this coach. His colleagues mentioned here have definitely achieved some great things, however, Hughes’ superb record triumphs over all.
Outside of Texas very few have heard of Coach Hughes. His career began at Fort Worth I.M. Terrell High School 1958-73. His teams had a 373-84 record and won three PVIL state championships in 1963, ‘65 and ‘67. After segregation ended, the school shut down. His career resumed at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School from 1973-2005. There he won five state championships, multiple conference championships while changing the lives of students throughout Dunbar and all around the Fort Worth area.
Hughes extraordinary accomplishments and gifts paved the way for so many who were fortunate enough to be connected to his mentorship. According to scholars, the influence he had over the sport in general had changed the game as we know today in many ways.
Dallas journalist and sports analyst Chris Arnold called Hughes, “Our very own version of UCLA’s John Wooden.” ESPN Damon Sayers say “If Hughes accomplishments had occurred on the East Coast and not under the long shadow of Texas football, he would be in the Naismith Hall of Fame.”
Grant Long (retired 15-year NBA-veteran and now currently a 3-time Emmy Award Winning TV analyst with Fox Television) says, after recently becoming aware of the Coach Hughes story, he wants to encourage other current and former NBA, College players and Coaches alike to get involved some way in support of bringing this untold story to the nation.”
Erick Strickland (retired 9-year NBA-veteran guard) says, film Relentless, a story about Coach Robert Hughes is a phenomenal sports achievement story about the winningest boys high school coach ever, and that players and coaches on all levels of the game should stop and pay homage to him for his 47-years of service to the game of basketball, including his great unsurpassed record of 1,333 wins as a coach.”
Carlton McConnell (CEO of Round The Clock Entertainment and Co-executive producer) says, he is humbled to be involved introducing this film and prayerfully I am around to see Coach Robert Hughes who is now 86-years-old, finally get his due of being inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield, MA).”
Relentless will be directed and produced by Lindell Singleton, who also brought us Museums of the Heartland, History of the Red River Rivalry and Texas Rangers: A Baseball Love Story. He says: “This is a story that conveys genuine human drama and conflict—it’s a sports story and so much more.”
Singleton said, “At a precarious time in our nation’s history during the period of school desegregation, Coach Hughes stood as a defining and calming voice bridging communities and bringing Texans together. He worked extensively behind-the-scenes to make sure that integration didn’t bring inequities to the black players and coaches.”
For more than 50 years the Southwest Conference choice to deny opportunities to black high school basketball athletes had a dramatic impact on athletics in the state, according to the producers. Coach Hughes had a way of navigating around the strict rules and policies of the SWC to revitalize relationships with the Big Ten, Pacific 8 and Missouri Valley Conference to ensure his players graduated and received quality opportunities to play beyond their high school years.
This new Relentless film aims at providing a direct window into the aspects of Texas sports history that has never been seen before. Reenactments of interviews with journalist, former players, game footage and coaches that deliver a real life experience in knowing the untold story of Coach Robert Hughes.
The film will also take a journey down memory lane at the “colored only” Prairie View Interscholastic League (PVIL) and its nostalgic experience with similar struggles during those earlier years.
This film will receive a theatrical premiere in Fort Worth, Texas in February, 2015 and a broadcast premiere the week of the Texas state high school basketball championship tournament.
Ronald Nance, a Dallas-based cinematographer secured the rights to the story and has been developing the project for the last two years with Singleton. Carlton McConnell, CEO of Round The Clock Entertainment will be co-executive producer of Relentless.
Media 13 Studios will handle production and distribution. Check out the video below.
To learn more about this documentary film go online to IndieGogo: https://igg.me/at/relentless-the-documenary
If you enjoy basketball and sports video games, check out NBA 2K15 scheduled to be released Oct. 7, 2014. Microsoft platforms for this installment is: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4.