kings court doc

The documentary aims to bring attention to the lack of adaptive sports teams in the Midwest. 

A group of University of Kansas journalism students are set to premiere a new documentary in May.

"Kings’ Court" follows a local adaptive basketball team, the KC Kings, on their journey to nationals. The team was ranked the number one prep adaptive basketball team in the entire country, and this documentary follows their path to nationals. 

The KC Kings are made up of three adaptive teams but focus on the prep team, with kids aged five to 13 playing. Matt Bollig started the team a handful of years ago after he saw a strong need for adaptive sports in the community.

Co-director Nicole Klevanskaya said she wanted the documentary to focus on the athletes as athletes, rather than athletes with disabilities. 

“There is so much more to these people than their disabilities and way more to talk about with them than that,” Klevanskaya said. 

The documentary aims to bring attention to the lack of adaptive sports teams in the Midwest. 

“The University of Kansas does not have adaptive sports teams while places like Mizzou do,” said Zain Kanji, co-director and executive editor.

Professor Rebekka Schlichting, the advisor of the documentary, guided students as they worked on this project. 

“Often stories about people with disabilities can come across as over inspiring… we are trying to just tell their story and not focus on their disabilities because that doesn’t happen very often,” Schlichting said. 

Schlichting said students had an idea for a documentary about accessibility at KU but then transitioned their focus to a sports angle after hearing about the KC Kings.

 “There is a lot of passion from the students to tell this story,” Schlichting said. “Some have worked ridiculously long hours to get it done.”

J-school seniors have been working hard on "Kings’ Court" since the beginning of this semester and are still wrapping up some final touches to complete the film. 

“Initially starting was a big challenge… but as the semester went by we developed a better structure and some methods of organization,” Klevanskaya said.

Co-director Brittany Swearingen said working with the documentary team was a great experience. 

“It was such an emotional experience to see the parents watch their kids play,” Swearingen said.

"Kings’ Court" premieres May 2 in the Burge Union. More updates and information about the documentary can be found on the team's Instagram.