Netflix is known for producing some seriously good sporting documentaries. From Last Chance U to QB1: Beyond the Lights, 2019 has been a great year for both sports and television.

But now they’re tackling a new area: Basketball.

Basketball Or Nothing dropped to Netflix on Friday, August 2nd and already it’s one of the most interesting and unique sports documentaries out there.

The show follows the Chinle Wildcats, a basketball team from Chinle in the Navajo Nation of Arizona, on their journey to become champions. And hopefully, get some of their players into Division 1 colleges to play basketball professionally.

Leading the Chinle Wildcats is new coach Raul Mendoza. But just who is Coach Raul?

Screenshot: Basketball Or Nothing S1 E1 – Netflix

Who is Raul Mendoza?

Raul Mendoza is a 71-year-old basketball coach originally from the Tohono O’odham Nation of southern Arizona and northern Mexico.

After a troublesome childhood, where he was abandoned as a baby by both parents and lived with his grandmother in Mexico, Raul found his feet at school in Arizona. And later, Raul went to college where he met his wife, Marjorie.

After Majorie fell pregnant, Raul settled for a steady factory job. But he longed to coach kids and so riskily gave up everything to work at Window Rock high school in Arizona where he earned just $9,500 a year.

But Raul has coached Native American basketball teams for over 40 years now and has found his stride as a guidance counsellor as well.

Raul Mendoza spends most of his time away from his wife, children and grandkids as they do not live in Chinle, which becomes one of the strains on him during the filming of Basketball Or Nothing.

Coach Raul on Basketball or Nothing

Coach Raul Mendoza enters the series with the ambition of turning the Wildcats into a winning team.

Raul said: “As a head coach, my whole purpose is to win a state championship”.

Previously coach Mendoza had won four state title games, reached eight final fours and even won the Arizona state championships. And he had the same ambition for his Wildcats team.

Although the team doesn’t always see Raul eye-to-eye on his coaching style, he has the capacity to take the Wildcats all the way!



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