CBC, BestCrosses Studios and Game Seven Media announced today that the new original docuseries ANYONE’S GAME (6×30, formerly ORANGEVILLE PREP) will premiere Friday, January 15 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service. All six episodes will be available to stream on CBC Gem beginning January 15, while the series will broadcast weekly on CBC TV. The series follows the high school players on the 2019-20 Orangeville Prep team for the Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, as they pursue the excitement and experience the challenges of securing an NCAA Division 1 scholarship, seeking a career in basketball, and one day possibly making it in the NBA.
Orangeville Prep (OP) is the lead high school basketball team of the Athlete Institute, created in 2010 by Jesse Tipping. The coach is Tony McIntyre, one of the most highly respected figures in high school basketball. OP has now sent close to 40 graduates into coveted Division 1 NCAA programs, making it one of the most successful high school programs in the world. Seven of those graduates have made it into the NBA, the most recognized being Denver Nuggets’ sensation, Jamal Murray. Last year, four OP graduates made the NBA, which was tied with Oak Hill in Virginia (often considered the most legendary high school basketball program) for the most of any school. OP is the only Canadian team invited to the most coveted U.S. high school tournaments.
ANYONE’S GAME follows the highs and lows, and the inspirations and disappointments, of Orangeville Prep’s (OP) season journey. While the program is gaining in notoriety, the school often flies under the radar in the U.S., especially when the team plays in the invite-only The Grind Session – the only tournament of its kind which brings together the top high school basketball teams in North America. Close to 25% of the players in the NBA have played in The Grind Session and Orangeville Prep is the only Canadian team to ever be formally invited to play as a member of their circuit. OP also plays in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA,) where they are expected to win every year and have a target on their back as a result.
The production team was given remarkable access to this past year’s players, seven of whom have now signed with NCAA Division 1 schools. The most touted OP graduate and possible 2021 NBA draft pick is Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, who signed to play alongside Cade Cunningham (the Naismith National High School Player of the Year and the top recruit in the U.S.) at highly ranked Oklahoma State. Another highly touted OP graduate featured in ANYONE’S GAME is Jeff Ngandu (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa), who signed with Seton Hall and is also expected to generate attention from the NBA.
At the centre of the team is Head Coach Tony McIntyre. Hugely admired on both sides of the border, Coach Tony truly loves all of his players and is focused primarily on their general well-being, not just basketball. Tony’s own family with his wife Suzette and their seven basketball-playing kids blends seamlessly with the OP players; Suzette is essentially “mom” to not just her own kids, but to Tony’s players as well, who are away from home and living in the dorm at The Athlete Institute. Tony and Suzette’s own son Tyler played at Syracuse University and was drafted in the NBA first round in 2014.
To connect with the youth and energy of ANYONE’S GAME, it was important for the production team to work with emerging musical talent on the series – music supervisor Everton Lewis, Jr. was determined to include musicians who are also in the early stages of their careers. Music from local artists like heavyweight Friyie, a musician who signed as an understudy to boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s recording label, and Patrik, who can be heard as the theme music for TikTok Canada and other advertisements, are just some of the new up-and-comers. LunchRoomPoetz, a hip hop crew of five deadly emcees, provide the series with an authentic emotional tone, while Young Smoke, Khem and Jason Packs provide the tone of Canadian streets and struggle.
These talented artists are elevated by the series composer and award-winning musician Tyler Armes (Post Malone’s Circles; Lil Baby’s My Turn). Armes brings a unique and fresh sound to ANYONE’S GAME that encompasses the symbiotic relationship shared by music and basketball.
The series is directed by Michael Hamilton (Nash – about two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Facing Schwarzenegger, I am MLK Jr.) and executive produced by Kyle McCutcheon of Game Seven Media and Jack Sussman of BestCrosses Studios, as well as Game Seven Media’s Chris Koras and BestCrosses Studios’ Terence Richards. Vince Buda is Producer, Lisa Kim is Story Editor, and Quinn McCutcheon is Associate Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; and Michelle McCree is Executive in Charge of Production.