*O’Shea Jackson Jr. made a name for himself portraying his hip-hop legend father, O’Shea Jackson (Ice Cube) in the 2015 biopic “Straight Outta Compton.” Also, a rapper himself who goes by the name OMG, most people associate him with music but Jackson Jr., says basketball is his first love.
“Anything that has to do with the game of basketball has me drooling,” Jackson Jr. said. “I love it. It’s always been a part of my life.
Before Jackson Jr. became an actor he coached his little brother’s recreation league basketball team and has publicly shared his love for his favorite team – the Los Angeles Lakers. His connection to the sport is why he says playing the role of Ike in the Apple TV Plus series “Swagger” was a dream job for him.
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“I always look for roles that have a piece of me in it. It makes it easier for the transition of becoming someone else,” Jackson who plays the coach of a basketball star in “Swagger” shared with EUR correspondent Anasia Obioha in a recent interview.
“There were so many traits of his that I could connect with. All I really had to do was just go up there and breathe.”
“Swagger” is loosely based off the life of Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and centers on Jace Carson, a 14-year-old basketball phenom who must navigate a maze of pressure to overcome the odds stacked against him. Carson is portrayed by newcomer Isiah Hill, who during the time of shooting was a high school basketball player in South Orange.
“I felt the pressure but I was quickly relieved by these amazing actors I’ve been paired up with,” Hill said.
“Swagger” also stars Shinelle Azoroh and Quvenzhane’ Wallis.
It premiers on Apple TV Plus October 29, with the first three episodes, before transitioning to its weekly schedule.