Bucks’ C Bobby Portis to portray first black player to sign NBA contact in latest “Sweetwater” movie

Bobby Portis, the Milwaukee Bucks player, can add another title to his impressive list of achievements: actor. Portis is set to appear in “Sweetwater,” a film about Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, the first African American to sign an NBA contract. Portis’ business manager, Patrick Frazier, confirmed that although Portis’ role is small, he has speaking lines, briefly plays basketball in the movie, and is part of a “pivotal” scene where the first African American basketball players in the NBA are discussing their experience in a press conference.

The film is directed by Martín Guigui, and Everett Osborne is starring as Clifton. The movie’s cast is made up of Kevin Pollak, Cary Elwes, Jeremy Piven, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Ri’chard, Gary Clark Jr., and Jim Caviezel. The film portrays the story of Clifton, scouted by Ned Irish, founder of the Knicks, while he was playing for the Harlem Globetrotters. Irish bought his contract from the Globetrotters’ legendary owner, Abe Saperstein.


While Clifton was the first African American player to sign an NBA contract, Earl Lloyd was the first African American to play in an NBA game. Lloyd, a Basketball Hall of Famer and Army veteran, would later join teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team, according to the Associated Press. Lloyd also became the first black assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, paving the way for future generations of black players and coaches.

Frazier, Portis’ manager, is thrilled that the player is involved in the project. He noted that “it’s really exciting for him,” as Portis had an incredible opportunity this offseason to be involved in the film. “Sweetwater” is set to start showing in theaters nationwide on April 14.

While Portis is known for his title as an NBA champion, he is also known as a fan favorite and the unofficial mayor of Milwaukee. His participation in this film about the first African American to sign an NBA contract is a testament to his versatility and willingness to take on new challenges. The film’s trailer showcases Portis in a brief glimpse around the 41-second mark, along with the other actors portraying Clifton’s journey in this ground-breaking moment in basketball history.


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