NBA Star Anthony Davis and Raven Magwood Goodson Team Up to Give Us the Full Court Advantage on Finding Our Way Back with Finding Tony

Bell | 5/31/2024, 3:58 p.m.
The phrase “Life Imitates Art” can be traced back to 1889, when Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde wrote, “Life …
Finding Tony Movie Premiere Starring Stephen Bishop, Executive Produced by Anthony Davis, and Directed By Raven Magwood Goodson Darnell BROWN

The phrase “Life Imitates Art” can be traced back to 1889, when Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde wrote, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” in his essay “The Decay of Lying.” Now, some 130 years later, it feels as though there has been a shift. Art is most definitely imitating life in the independent film, Finding Tony. Released on May 10th, Finding Tony was the perfect film for us to review as we close out #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth. The film puts us in the passenger seat of a widowed former basketball player’s journey to finding his way back to himself through becoming a women's college basketball coach.

Former NBA star Tony Greene, played by renowned actor Stephen Bishop, has a story that could be ripped from any headline today. After his wife is murdered in a home invasion, Tony spirals, landing as a clinically depressed alcoholic with a DUI. We’re not sure if the release date was strategic, but the film explores mental health, depression, grief, alcoholism, the road to redemption, and much more—issues that we see not only in the sports and entertainment industry but also in everyday life.

Mental health remains profoundly misunderstood by society. Often, mental health and mental illness are erroneously conflated. When mental health is mentioned, many automatically assume the presence of some type of psychological disorder that leads to self-harm or harm to others. They tend to overlook the Tony Greene’s of the world who simply succumb to the pressures of grief, depression, and self-medication through alcohol or other vices.

In an exclusive interview, actor Stephen Bishop shared how he didn’t have to “get into character” because he was very familiar with some of Tony’s emotions. Bishop recounted his personal experiences of grief, stemming from retiring from baseball, making the decision to coach his kid’s team, and experiencing some traumatic events while filming. “I was in the middle of the traumatic experience while we were filming,” he explained. “So, some of the emotions that Tony had to go through were emotions that I was ACTUALLY going through. This [film] was my therapy.”

Bishop’s testimony highlights the often-overlooked aspect of mental health. We see the behavior, the reliance on useless vices, the DUIs, and the attitudes. What we don’t see are the silent struggles many have to endure as a result of trauma. And we are only scratching the surface of Tony’s character. The movie actually serves as a powerful reminder that mental health encompasses a wide range of experiences and outcomes, as seen in Destiny, the orphaned basketball powerhouse that changes Tony’s trajectory. What we learn is that empathy and understanding are crucial in addressing these challenges. Bishop goes on to say, “Tony gets rescued by these women that he is coaching. He is down as down can be, but through his relationship with these ladies, he is able to find himself again and find his footing to become the man he is supposed to be.”

This was Bishop’s first leading role that didn’t involve a love interest, and he delivered a stellar performance. Life doesn’t always look like our dreams. “If I had it my way, I would have been a 20-year major leaguer going to the Hall of Fame. Obviously, my calling was acting, which afforded me the opportunity to be a coach, philanthropic, and more,” said Bishop. When asked what he wanted people to take from the film, he replied, “There will be things sent to destroy you, but you have the power to not let it because your path is the most important. When you go through things in life, perseverance will get you through. Keep your head down and stay the course. It’s easy to fold up and go in the tank, but God didn’t put you on this earth to do that. You have your singular purpose, and you should stick with that and keep your eyes focused on it.”

Finding Tony officially released at midnight on May 10th and is available to view on .


About Finding Tony

Former NBA star Tony Greene is a depressed alcoholic whose wife was violently murdered. After getting a DUI, he reluctantly begins coaching a women's college basketball team where he meets Destiny, an orphaned basketball phenom with a bad attitude and an incredible jump shot. Their personalities clash, but Tony sees her potential. Just when Tony thought he had lost it all, his star player helps him find his destiny.

About Raven Magwood Goodson

Raven Magwood Goodson is an award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author, and motivational speaker who is truly a force to be reckoned with. The nationally recognized “achievement expert” wrote/produced/co-directed an internationally distributed feature film, Haunted Trail, at age 28. Starring Desi Banks, Haunted Trail is a horror-comedy co-directed by Raven alongside director Robin Givens. Upon release, the film quickly became the #1 streaming film on BET+ and was subsequently aired on both BET Her and BET. The film is now additionally available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Tubi. Raven’s latest film, Finding Tony, is a sports drama starring Stephen Bishop, David Banner, Columbus Short, Josh Ventura, Rodney Perry, amongst others. The film is being positioned to be one of the top independent films of 2024.

Finding Tony officially released at midnight on May 10th and is available to view on .