Parents' Guide to

Basketball or Nothing

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Captivating docuseries inspires, challenges stereotypes.

Basketball or Nothing Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+
For anyone who loves a good sports movie, this one ticks all the boxes! The kids in this docuseries leave you feeling humbled at what they achieve on and off the court. It offers a glimpse into life on the Navajo reservation today, shared through the stories from the members of this community. Inspiring for any family to watch together; it’s sure to spark conversations about the value (and cost!) of a college education, the importance of family, and just the sheer joy of the game of basketball. Go Wildcats!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

You needn't be a basketball fan to succumb to the captivating nature of this enlightening series. Drama plays out on the court as losses threaten the group's goals and players adjust to Mendoza's methods -- all while dealing with the pressures of playing a sport that garners a cult following that outnumbers the town's population -- but there's more intrigue in the subjects' backstories and the intimate picture they paint of life on the Navajo Nation reservation.

Basketball or Nothing's title is a nod to the harsh reality that if not for the popular sport, there would be very near nothing for these teens to do in and around Chinle, where drug use, drinking, and suicide rates are disproportionately high among teens and young adults. For these players, basketball is more than just a productive use of their free time; it's a possible ticket off the reservation and into college, a career, and a more secure lifestyle than many have known in their own childhoods. Despite hardships, this team is determined to succeed and to see where doing so can take them in the future.

TV Details

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