Ibaka, who became the first player from the Republic of Congo to enter the NBA draft, has signed a development deal with the Red Arrow Studios company via his production company Ouenzé Entertainment.
Overcoming (w/t) will showcase some of the greatest athletes in the world and the biggest challenges of their lives, outside of sports. Each episode will center on a different individual and the conflicts they have dealt with and the adversity they have faced during their rise to success – whether it’s prejudice, poverty, disability, or health issues.
The first episode will tell the story of how Ibaka overcame a tough childhood in Africa, including his father being imprisoned in the Second Congo War, to become an NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors.
The series is being written by Ed Ricourt, who is currently in development on Disney+ feature The Return of the Rocketeer and previously wrote Lionsgate feature Now You See Me.
Overcoming is executive produced by Adam Boorstin and Schreiber for Studio71, Ricourt, and Ibaka and Jordi Vilà Sánchez for Ouenzé Entertainment.
It is the latest animated project for Studio71, which is working with Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society on animated comedy series Obi, which it adapted from an Instagram comic and sold to HBO Max, as well as digital star Roi Fabito on The Guava Juice Show for YouTube Kids.
“I always thought my story could be an inspiration for the younger generations, and I think sharing other athletes’ stories of overcoming on this series will have a big impact,” said Ibaka. “There is never a straight line to success and many of us have gone through different obstacles that required us to stay motivated and believe in ourselves. If we can inspire just one kid to not give up on their dreams, I’d consider this series a success.”
“Overcoming is an inspiration for kids all around the world to never give up on their dreams, no matter the circumstances or the odds,” added Michael Schreiber, President of Scripted Content at Studio71. “Serge Ibaka’s story is the perfect example of this, and we are really excited for people to have a better understanding of what he and other athletes have gone through to achieve their goals. Overcoming will show why athletes like Serge are heroes to people all-around the world.”