Beginning Tuesday, November 23 at 11 p.m. EDT, a new five-part series called KLUTCH Academy will air on BET, and the show will look at how Rich Paul’s sports agency Klutch Sports Group works with six college basketball players to get them ready for the leap to the big leagues. Kenya Barris joined Paul for the project, along with Mike Tollin and Jon Weinbach, the creative duo responsible for the award-winning ESPN docuseries The Last Dance.
“These young men work their entire lives to get a shot at becoming a professional athlete, and at KLUTCH, we invest the time and care to help them succeed not only as players, but as human beings prepared to meet all of life’s challenges,” Paul said in a statement per Deadline. “It’s an honor to work with Kenya and BET to share our rookies’ powerful stories, and I’m excited for audiences to get a glimpse at the incredible work my team does every day to help athletes achieve and sustain success.”
Barris posted news of KLUTCH Academy on his personal IG and spoke about his eagerness to be involved with the series. “There is no denying the impact that Rich has had. He and the Klutch Team have pushed boundaries and completely shifted the narrative,” Barris said in a statement. “And while buzzwords like ‘disruptor’ and ‘super agent’ are fitting, it’s the work that they do with these young men, behind the scenes and off-the-court, that is the most impressive, and I’m excited for viewers to get a glimpse beyond the headlines into that part of their story.”
Each 60-minute episode will cover one of the half-dozen prospects, from signing his contract with the agency and working out to Draft Day jitters and getting his mind right for the pros. Viewers will also get to see how the men handle their personal, off-the-court issues and attempts to balance the contending parties in their lives. There will also be a special dedication to the late Univ. of Kentucky guard Terrence Clarke. He died at 19 years old, one day after he signed his contract with KLUTCH.
“With Kenya Barris, Rich Paul, Mike Tollin, and Jon Weinbach all on board for KLUTCH Academy, we couldn’t have hoped for a better inaugural project for BET Studios,” said Aisha Summers Burke, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of BET Studios. “The BET Studios venture is all about giving creators an opportunity to tell stories that have yet to be told, and KLUTCH Sports has a remarkable background and history that we know will resonate with our audiences, which is why we’re so glad the series found its home right here on BET.”