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Is ‘The Crossover’ Based on a True Story? Inspiration Behind the Sports Drama Explored

The Crossover, a new sports drama series, premiered on Disney+ recently. The show focuses on the lives of two brothers, Josh and JB Bell, who navigate through the ups and downs of their family and professional life while realizing their passion for basketball.

The series, starring Jalyn Hall and Amir O’Neil, runs high on emotions and drama, which forms an instant connection with the audiences. Many viewers are now wondering if The Crossover is based on a true story. Read on to find out.

Is The Crossover Based on a True Story?

The Crossover is not based on any real-life story. Instead, it is based on a novel of the same name by Kwame Alexander. The author revealed that certain aspects of the novel were inspired by his own life. For instance, the character of the father in the book (and the show) was loosely based on the writer’s father.

“So, growing up, my father used to say things to me like — my father was a basketball player in the Air Force and in college. He was a star. They called him the Big Al,” Alexander revealed in an interview, adding, “My dad used to say things to me like you can’t know what you don’t know.”

“My dad used to drop these things on me nonstop going to school in the morning or when I made a mistake. Half of them I didn’t understand. The book, The Crossover, is sort of a song for my father, an ode to my father as it were,” he continued.

What is The Crossover About?

The official synopsis for the show reads, “Through his lyrical poetry, an adult version of Josh, aka Filthy McNasty, narrates the story of he and his brother’s coming of age, on and off the court, as their former professional basketball player father adjusts to life after basketball, and their mother finally pursues lifelong dreams of her own.”

Talking about the storyline, Alexander said that his book deals with a lot of feelings against the backdrop of basketball. “Ultimately this is a book about basketball. But it’s really about so much more. It’s about family and brotherhood and friendship and crossing over from boyhood into manhood. Basketball was just sort of a — it was a frame,” he said.

Who Stars in The Crossover?

The series stars Jalyn Hall as Josh Bell, Amir O’Neil as JB Bell, Derek Luke as Chuck Bell, Sabrina Revelle as Crystal Bell, Skyla I’Lece as Alexis, Deja Monique Cruz as Maya, and Trevor Raine Bush as Vondle.

The cast also includes Himie Freeman as Future Josh, Darone Okolie as Future JB, Gabriela Lopez as Future Maya, Joel Steingold as Basil St. John, Johnny Cantley as Future Vondie, and Yvonne Senat Jones as Janice.

The novel was released in 2014 and was honored with Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award in 2015. Alexander now serves as an executive producer on the television series, along with Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Alexander Johnson, Damani Johnson, Jay Marcus, Bob Teitel, and basketball legend LeBron James.

Have you watched The Crossover yet? How did you like it? Tell us in the comments section.

A passionate writer who loves to cover Pop Culture, Celebs, Films and TV shows. When not writing, you can find me trekking, singing, and binge-watching.


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