After a tumultuous professional basketball career, John Brisker, once considered “the meanest man in basketball,” finds himself working in Uganda as a paid mercenary for a brutal dictator.

Genre: Biopic


How does an instantly recognizable, 6’5″ black man, often called the “meanest man in basketball,” disappear off the face of the earth?

From the Detroit ghetto to stardom in the American Basketball Association and the NBA to a losing battle with drugs, JOHN BRISKER’s life is filled with anger and struggle as he fights to be the best on the court. Along the way he’s guided by a gun-toting priest who referees street games in the hood, and fellow all-pro, Olympic gold medal winner, SPENCER HAYWOOD.

BOB COSTAS (yes, THE Bob Costas) calls the play-by-play during much of Brisker’s career as Brisker goes head to head with players and coaches who actually put a bounty on him to slow him down, and later plays for and battles with the legendary BILL RUSSELL.

Blacklisted by the league and his personal life in shambles, Brisker goes to Africa hoping to resurrect his failing career. He ends up coaching the Ugandan basketball team for the evil dictator (and avid basketball fan and player) IDI AMIN, whose vision is blurred by dreams of gold in the 1980 Olympics. Brisker is paid well and hopes to return to the United States soon and use the money to help his family.

Unfortunately, Amin has other plans. While Brisker falls in love with a beautiful reporter sent to do a story on the tyrant, he’s also dragged into a savage plot to overrun the neighboring country of Tanzania. An attack that will murder thousands of innocent villagers. And despite his screaming conscience, Brisker’s choices are made clear: Kill or be killed.

For Brisker, basketball as well as life, have always been about control, power and gaining the advantage by any means necessary. Now his life and the lives of those he loves are on the line in a game where the loser faces not defeat, but death.


‘NBA/MIA’ is a really well written screenplay with an intriguing and charismatic protagonist and an engrossing and thoroughly original storyline. Adding to the script’s appeal is that it’s based on real events in the life of John Brisker, former NBA player turned reluctant Ugandan solider. The writers have a great grasp on the material and obviously did extensive research into everything from the history of the ABA (who knew it’s where Bob Costas started out as a sports announcer?) to the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda. The reader has no doubt ‘NBA/MIA’ would make for a great movie with several really juicy, well written roles.

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