Martin Guigui has signed on to write and direct the biopic, Sweetwater.
The film is about Nat 'Sweetwater' Clifton, an American multi-sport athlete best known as the first African American to sign a contract to play in the NBA. Production Weekly notes he was given the 'Sweetwater' nickname as a boy because of his love of soft drinks. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois where he became an outstanding baseball player in high school. However it was basketball in which Clifton would make his mark. He attended Xavier College of Louisiana and then served with the United States Army, fighting for his country in Europe during World War II.
After the war, he joined the New York Rens, an all-black professional basketball team that toured throughout the United States; Clifton is remembered for his large hands that required a size 14 glove. After one season, he was invited to join the Harlem Globetrotters with whom he would play from the fall of 1947 to the spring of 1950. Still a talented baseball first baseman, during the basketball off-season in 1949 Clifton played for the Chicago American Giants in Negro League baseball. By 1950, his performance with the Globetrotters, in particular his exceptional ball handling ability, led to him becoming the first African American player to sign a contract with an NBA team. Already twenty-seven years old when he made his debut as a member of the New York Knicks, in his first season Clifton helped lead the team to its first-ever appearance in the NBA finals. During his eight seasons in the NBA, Clifton averaged 10 points and 9 rebounds per game. He was named to the 1957 NBA All-Star team, scoring 8 points in 23 minutes in the game. At age 34, he became the oldest player in NBA history to be named an All-Star.
Guigui will begin filming Sweetwater in late February.