Home » Sport » THE BALL – Come dream big with Nehemiah Queta. The story that just started (NBA)

THE BALL – Come dream big with Nehemiah Queta. The story that just started (NBA)

“Actually, they didn’t ask me much for this challenge of making the documentary. I kind of invented it. In March/April I learned that Neemias was going to run for the NBA draft, I started to investigate a little more his history, who he was, where he came from, and I became more and more interested», says André Braz, documentary director ‘ Dream Big – Neemias Queta’, presented at Campo Pequeno in Lisbon, about the first Portuguese to be chosen in the NBA draft.

The film, available to the public as of today, not only focuses on the hours before and the moment, in July, of the choice of the 22-year-old pole, at the option of the Sacramento Kings, in 39th position of the 2021 draft, but also the strong connection of the former to family and friends. It follows Nehemiah’s last hours in Los Angeles, with the company and advice of his mother Mica, and former coaches at Utah State University, until the moment when, at a dinner, he hears on television his name being announced on the other side of the United States, in Brooklyn (New York), at the Barclays Center, pavilion of the Nets.

Always at a good pace, keeping the audience interested regardless of whether they like basketball or the NBA, he brushes up on what it was like to grow up in Vale da Amoreira for this son of Guinean emigrants, shows some images of his journey in Barreirense and Benfica, as well as in Aggies de Utah from the NCAA. At the same time, old coaches are revealing why, as a kid, in his first steps in the sport he was nicknamed a mop – he always fell to the floor and had his knees a little in the way – how the dream of reaching the NBA was intensified after giving up football because, as a childhood friend says, he had “two left feet”, and how at university they began to transform the scrawny body of a kid into a man’s at the same time he won over everyone – the assistant coach at Utah State reveals that he thanked him for what he gave him personally and to the family – with his personality and smile to «Magic Johnson».

From the laughter to the feeling and even the tears towards the end, the documentary tries to reveal Queta beyond the basketball courts. «With Betclic, co-producer of the documentary, we found a way to make this possible and we started to do more in-depth research. We got in touch with Nehemiah, I explained to him my vision of this film, he was enthusiastic and, from then on, everything was very fluid», says Braz.

Before starting the documentary itself, a message was sent from the player, he is currently playing for the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s formation club in the G-League (minor league), so that he can continue to evolve.

“I want to thank everyone who is at the premiere of my film. I hope you can learn a little more about my life. This documentary managed to portray very well what happened in my life, what I had to overcome in order to grow both as a person and as an athlete. Both on and off the field, I feel that God has many blessings for me in the future. Thanks”.

And was making this documentary easier than you expected?

“The acceptance by Nehemiah turned out to be easier than I expected. From the first moment, he realized the importance of this film to inspire other kids to pursue their dream. And that was what motivated him to accept this challenge and embark on it».

“Then there was a whole pandemic context that didn’t make things easy, a time difference in between was not easy either and we had to end up hiring a team in Los Angeles to accompany him in the days before the draft and on the day at the same time I accompanied his family to see the draft. It was a week of making the schedules in Portugal and the United States, which became quite demanding», says André, who played basketball in his teens and followed the NBA. He was a fan of the Chicago Bulls. “At the time, Michael Jordan was playing… there was no chance”, he says, laughing.

«Little by little I was disconnected, but now the animal has returned. I followed the NBA again, but I always liked basketball a lot and played a little bit. That’s also why it caught my attention. Suddenly we were going to have a Portuguese in the NBA. But before we were sure, there was the question: will he make it?», he says. “But from the first moment I talked to him, something told me he was going to do it. It was still April and there was a lot still in the air. Fortunately it worked out and now he is there».

And now, is there any ambition to accompany Nehemiah through this dream abroad? “I liked it a lot. I would love to do a second part of this movie because, as people will see when they see the movie, it’s someone with a personality all of their own. Contagious. And the story has just begun.»

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