Is ‘Swagger’ on Apple TV+ Based on a True Story?

The Apple TV+ drama Swagger brings the intensity both on and off the court, as it follows high school basketball prodigy Jace Carson (Isaiah R. Hill) as he navigates the sport and the high stakes involved in his path to stardom.

Not only does it deal with the love of the game, but it also tackles a vast array of issues, including racism, sexual assault and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series, which debuted in 2021, just dropped its Season 2 finale last week. The season launched Jace and his teammates into their senior year of high school. While the series may remind viewers of similar sports drama predecessors like Friday Night Lights, Decider’s Scott Hines noted in his Swagger review that Jace’s story “more than stands on its own.”

Invested in Jace’s story? Just learned of the Apple TV+ series? Regardless, if you’re wondering, is Swagger based on a true story, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for more info:

O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Isaiah R. Hill in 'Swagger'
Photo: Everett Collection

Is Swagger based on a true story?

Yes! According to ScreenRantJace’s story is based off of executive producer and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant‘s journey to the NBA. Like Jace, Durant grew up in the D.M.V. (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) area and struggled with the burdens placed on young and ambitious athletes like himself. Additionally, Jace’s close relationship with his mother Jenna (Shinelle Azoroh) emulates the bond that Durant has with his own mom, Wanda.

The outlet also noted that the manner in which Durant’s story inspired Jace’s story is similar to how All American‘s storyline for Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) is based on former New York Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger’s journey to the NFL; Paysinger also served as a co-producer and actor on the show.

However, as The New York Times notes, one way in which the show differs from Durant’s own experiences is through how the series takes place in the present day, whereas Durant attended high school in the early 2000s.

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