Chances are if you are under 30 and even a big hoops fan in New York you may not know Lloyd Daniels. If you follow high school hoops in New Jersey you may know Lloyd’s son, Lloyd III, a senior at Colts Neck High School who became a bit of a legend himself with some last second shots last year that made the YouTube rounds, but Swee’ Pea may not be on your list.
First time director Ben May is trying to change all that when he brings his film, The Legend of Swee Pea to DOC NYC next week.
Nicknamed for the son of the legendary cartoon character Popeye, Lloyd Daniels was one of the top college basketball recruits of the late 1980s, playing at five high schools and Mt. San Antonio Junior College before the University of Nevada Las Vegas won a massive recruiting battle to have him join the Runnin Rebels and legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian.
Before he was able to play a single game at UNLV, he was arrested for cocaine possession, ending his time at UNLV before it began. Later shot three times in the chest at age 21 over an argument about an $8 bag of cocaine, the man christened as the best high school player to come out of New York since Kareem Abdul Jabbar as well as the heir apparent to Magic Johnson was thought by many to have had a career ended before it started, when in reality his story was just beginning.
Daniels overcame all of that, and with remnants of bullets still in his body, and with years of crack addiction behind him eventually made it to the NBA, including stints in Philadelphia and with the Nets as well as playing overseas. It was an amazing time for basketball as the hip hop generation really emerged, and Daniels story of what could have been and what eventually was, stole headlines for several years.
Now retired, Lloyd lives in New Jersey, with no shortage of stories still being told about one of the greatest players of his generation still being told, now on the big screen.
The producers are still working on a release date for the film, but other screenings in the New York area are in the mix. The trailer can be seen here https://vimeo.com/145538727 password: sweepea.