Since Basketball Or Nothing came to our screens on Friday, August 2nd, it has proved to be one of Netflix’s best documentary series of the summer.
With riveting basketball, loveable characters and heartbreaking plotlines, what more could you want from a sports drama?
While Josiah Tsosie and Cooper Burbank have become stars in their own right, episode 5 introduced the team to some established Native American sports stars.
Notah Begay III and Rickie Fowler appeared in the episode to give the young players that push to pursue their dreams at a professional level.
But who is pro Golf player Rickie Fowler and what are his ties to the show?
Who is Rickie Fowler?
Rick ‘Rickie’ Yutaka Fowler is a 30-year-old professional golfer originally from Murrieta, California. He now lives in Jupiter, Florida after relocating following the 2010 season.
Rickie was mostly self-taught as a youngster growing up in California, but he still made waves then and led his high school team to the 2007 state finals.
Whilst at Oklahoma State University, Rickie Fowler began to make a name for himself in the golfing world, playing in the U.S. Amateurs and Walker Cup. In 2009, Rickie earned his PGA Tour card and has had success ever since. He won five tournaments, including the Players Championship in 2015.
Rickie is currently ranked 16th in the world.
In the episode, we are introduced to Rickie’s fiancée, Allison Stokke, who is a track and field athlete.
Rickie on Basketball Or Nothing
Notah Begay III is a successful PGA player himself but wanted to bring world-ranking Rickie along as an extra boost.
Notah said, “I just want you guys to know there’s are a lot of Native athletes that make it to the highest level”.
Rickie’s connection to the Navajo Nation is through his maternal grandmother, who was born and raised on the reservation.
Although Rickie did not grow up on the reservation himself, he told the kids: “My parents made sure I grew up to know the Navajo culture and way of life, how to work for things and that’s amazing”.
Rickie’s connection to the show
His words of wisdom during his guest appearance was not the only tie he had to Basketball Or Nothing as the show is produced by Rickie’s production company, Main Event Productions.
Rickie was one of the core people who wanted to share the Basketball Or Nothing story and worked in close collaboration with the team at WorkShop Content Studios, who conceived the idea.
Speaking to Deadline about making the show, Rickie said: “These Navajo kids face many obstacles and hardships both on and off the court. Working with Tom [Farrell] and The WorkShop Content Studios provided a great opportunity for me to help tell their stories”.
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