Following Sierra Canyon’s boy’s basketball team rockstar championship year, the squad is back in the spotlight as the second season of the docuseries “UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers” dropped Friday on IMDB TV.
With very few seniors, the team is dealing with new challenges — trying to repeat as Southern California regional state champions, bringing a national championship to Los Angeles County and COVID-19.
Sierra Canyon is a small school in the San Fernando Valley that has become an academic — and athletic — powerhouse.
The six-part series features top high school Division I prospects Amari Bailey, Shy Odom and Bronny James as they pursued their third-straight regional title and transitioned into young adults.
Tevin Tavares, the director of “Top Class,” told YR Media how different it was shooting the first season compared to the second in the middle of a pandemic.
“It was different,” the 24-year-old said. “You go from traveling the country and going state to state and being on planes every week to your just at Sierra Canyon.”
Tavares talked about having to deal with COVID-19 protocols which included taking a test each time that you entered the gym. But these were just obstacles that came with the job in his eyes.
“There’s many things that you have to deal with, but at the end of the day, I think that’s the tool of being a professional. Rain or shine virus or not you still have to be a professional and get the job done and tell the best story” he said.
The first season featured young NBA stars Brandon Boston Jr. and Ziaire Williams and the glory of their senior year. They played a national schedule and they were competing for a “National Championship.”
The new one showcases the trials and tribulations of how the team only played league games. They only played in-state games that were mainly at home so they could only compete for a Southern California regional title.
“I think that’s one thing that they had to constantly battle was, we have to bring our A-game no matter what,” said Tavares. “People are still coming for our heads and people think just because we lost some of our best players that everybody could beat us.”
While this series centered around basketball, Tavares wanted to make sure that he showed how these young boys become men.
“I want people to look at these kids as these are young black men that we are watching grow up. I think that’s important that young black men all over the country are able to see and watch these kids as they grow up,” he said. “That’s the thing I want to represent, you don’t have to see these headlines of black men doing stuff. These kids are just out here playing basketball and having fun.”
Several of the players are still young enough for the docuseries to continue. James is a sophomore and Odom and Bailey are juniors during filming. A third season hasn’t been decided.
“I can’t even answer that now until things are solidified, but yeah I mean I would hope so,” said Tavares.
“I think that this has been a great series and I think it’s something that we’ve now adapted a fan base and when you have a fan base you gotta give the fans what they need and give the kids who they need,” he added.