Russell Westbrook’s short film “Why Not?” Inspires The Next Generation to Think Beyond Sports

Russell Westbrook’s short film “Why Not?” Inspires The Next Generation to Think Beyond Sports

February 15, 2022 0

Russell Westbrook, a nine-time NBA All Star, founded Zero World Media in order to give back to his community, empower and create opportunities for the next generation of creators through storytelling. The studio’s inspiration started with Westbrook’s research initiative study “Beyond The Court,” which explored how Black athletes are perceived by mainstream media. This venture was created in partnership with entrepreneur Deon Point, who founded The Incubation Lab, a creative community development agency that cultivates creative initiatives that create social impact. They are creating a platform for creatives in underserved Brooklyn locales like Flatbush, Crown Heights, East New York and East Flatbush to flourish.

The first project released under this venture is called Why Not? This  film takes an intimate look at Riley (played by Kareem Grimes), a talented high school player with a promising future who, due to injury and unforeseen circumstances, struggles to find his identity outside of basketball. While he faces pressure from family, friends and his coach, Riley ultimately realizes what makes him special is not his athletic ability but his creativity and desire for change through tech.

“A lot of the youth in Black and Brown communities look at the tech space as an almost impossible field to exist within. They don’t often see themselves represented at the major tech companies of the world and they don’t see it as the ‘cool’ thing to do. Well, why not?” said Westbrook. “Why Not? is a mantra I live by, because I believe it is important to empower the next generation and encourage them to never give up. Why can’t young Black kids in untapped neighborhoods like Crenshaw get exposed to tech? This film is that story, and I hope it inspires kids in marginalized communities around the world”

– Russell Westbrook

Bringing this story to life, Director & Writer for “Why Not?”. Tevin Tavares is dedicated to seeing Black filmmakers release their own stories.

 “The world is changing rapidly and young people need to be given the opportunity to use the power of the internet and technology to tell their stories,” said Tavares. “The longer I work in film, the more I realize that these tools are pivotal for Black filmmakers because it allows us to get our stories out without limitations.

– Tevin Tavares
Tevin Tavares, Award Winning Writer, Director & Producer

In addition to creating positive images on the screen, Westbrook started the Why Not Foundation to empower youth through education and creativity. “I think that it’s important for Black men to come together and create opportunities for ourselves,” Westbrook says in a conversation with MTV News.”There are a lot of talented people out there who are hungry to make something out of themselves, but they’re just not given the opportunity.”

“Storytelling is a powerful way to be a part of their culture, their community and spark dialogue about real issues facing them every day,”

“Why Not” is streaming now on BET+

BMI Staff
BMI Staff