MLive is streaming a documentary this weekend on Detroit basketball legend Curtis Jones. I had always heard the stories about this playground legend, but the documentary is fascinating and heartbreaking. You can see it at:
Curtis' story in a nutshell: He was a basketball legend at Detroit Northwestern and St. Cecilia who apparently had other-worldly talent. But his future was destroyed because he was illiterate. He died when he was 49, having wasted all the talent in the world.
Lots of U-M connections in the documentary:
- Right after high school, Curtis landed at a juco in Idaho (even though he couldn't write his own name). He said that Fred Snowden (his coach at Northwestern who was by then an assistant to Johnny Orr at U-M) had promised him a spot at U-M if he kept his grades up. Jones later sued U-M over this.
- Former U-M basketball player and big-time Detroit attorney Steve Fishman is interviewed extensively in the film. Offers his take on the Fred Snowden deal.
- Jalen Rose is also interviewed extensively. He saw Curtis play as a kid going to St. Cecilia's.
- Also, the film was made by one of the guys who made "Black and Blue," the Gerald Ford-Willis Ward documentary.
Check it out. It's free and fascinating.