The latest 30 for 30 documentary “The Dominican Dream” (tonight, 9 ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes) chronicles St. John’s star and professional basketball player Felipe Lopez’s career highs and lows.
In the film, directed by Jonathan Hock, viewers will spot a vintage clip of e:60 host Jeremy Schaap as a young “cub reporter” covering Lopez’s story for NY1 (see excerpt above). In addition, Sunday Night Baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez is interviewed in the film. Watch an excerpt of his interview below.
Schaap answered some questions for Front Row in advance of the film’s debut.
What do you recall about covering Lopez’s rise?
If you were following sports in New York in the early 1990s, Felipe Lopez was a god. He was so gifted and ebullient and he meant so much to the Dominican community. He was simply the best story in town – and there was so much joy about what he was doing and so much hope for what the future held.
I remember the excitement every time he stepped on the court for Rice [High School] and for the Gauchos. And when he chose St. John’s? It was like the night the Knicks won the 1985 [NBA] draft lottery. It felt that big.
I was lucky to be working in the city at the time. Covering Felipe was like covering the Knicks or the Yankees or a heavyweight champion. Everything he did mattered.
You’ve also co-directed a 30 for 30 “42 to 1.” If you look at it from a director’s point of view, why did Lopez’s story make such a compelling documentary?
Jon has done a terrific job telling this story, which encompasses so much more than Felipe’s basketball life. It’s about the promise of the American dream and the weight of expectations — and how we cope and find redemption in the face of disappointment.