The Bucs open the season at 7 p.m. with an exhibition game against Limestone College at Freedom Hall. At exactly the same time, the “4Ever” movie will be premiering at ETSU.
The movie, produced by former ETSU All-American point guard Mister Jennings, delves into the relationship between the players on the Bucs teams that won four consecutive Southern Conference championships from 1989-92.
The premiere is being held at ETSU’s Ball Hall Auditorium and begins with a red carpet entrance at 7 p.m. The movie starts at 8.
It’s unfortunate timing for ETSU fans who would like to attend both events if given the opportunity.
“We didn’t catch that when we were trying to find a good date for us,” Jennings said. “I’m sure it won’t take away from their fans. Maybe the ones that miss the movie will hear about it and get it on DVD.”
Jennings, who played on three of those championship teams, said he hopes the film shows the inside story to those squads. He added that fans will likely enjoy the behind-the-scenes portions.
“They still don’t know that part of the brotherhood,” Jennings said. “They always saw the smiles and the highlights. This is different. We’re going to show them things they never knew. I wouldn’t be surprised if it brings you to tears or makes you laugh. This is crazy. You never knew these guys were like that.”
Sterling Foster of Smalltown productions was the director. Jennings and Foster are listed as co-writers.
“It’s a great story,” Foster said. “I was a fan growing up. These guys are great. Everybody sees the basketball clips, but where you get to see how close these guys are as a family and comrades, you’ll be amazed.”
A press release for the movie says “The players not only won together, they vowed to remain brothers ‘4ever.’ Get an inside look at what went on behind the scenes including who received special treatment, who became the team diva, all of the team pranks, their fights and more.”
The movie has been a long time in coming. The project was originally announced in September 2017 with hopes of getting it out the following March in time for the NCAA Tournament.
“Patience is a virtue,” Jennings said. “I realized when I gave my man Sterling creative control and he wanted to add some things, I had to accept it wasn’t going to be a fast process. Now that it’s right around the corner here, I’m super excited to share it with Johnson City, who really had a lot of love and respect when we were playing.”