An Adidas signature shoe, the cover of NBA2K, and her own official day in Chicago (September 16th)—Candace Parker has more than arrived. But she’s not done yet. In April 2022, the two-time NCAA and WNBA champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has something new in store for us. Candace Parker’s Title IX Documentary, 37 Words: A Title IX Story, examining 50 years of progress since the historic civil rights law went into effect and led to a revolution in women’s sports, is set to premiere.
“Baby Hair Productions first project is a meaningful one… Title IX 50 years later….. the doors it opened but also the impact it has on life, culture, sport and business… it’s not just about sports!” she tweeted announcing the news. “Title IX has meant a lot to the game, the sport, and my family as well.” she told ESPN already years ago.
The feature-length documentary is set to explore and celebrate the societal and cultural impact of Title IX. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 formally banned gender-based discrimination in education programs and activities that receives federal financial funding, including many college sports athletic programs. This enabled the booming growth of women’s college sports in the 1980s and 90s, especially basketball.
The film is presented through Candace’s eyes, beginning with her youth in Chicago. With the tutelage of her two older brothers, Marcus and former NBA player Anthony, Candace fell in love with the game of basketball at an early age. In high school, she led Naperville Central to two state titles.
She went on to become a superstar at the University of Tennessee, before being selected as the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, and dominating as a legend in the WNBA. The documentary also details her iconic Olympic triumphs in Beijing and London, as well as her 2021 WNBA title with the Chicago Sky.
Today, Candace is one of the most decorated female basketball players to ever put on a uniform, a mother to her daughter Lailaa, a wife to her partner, Anya Petrakova, and a renowned TNT NBA analyst (who dunks on Shaquille O’Neal non-stop). Furthermore, Candace is not only a star on and off the court, but also she is an inspiration to all those around her — bringing a unique point of view to this incredible story.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time where Title IX afforded me great opportunities and impacted my life,” Candace said. “I am so excited to have the chance to tell this important story for the younger generation to show the significance Title IX has on culture and life beyond sports.”
The currently untitled project will include interviews with major figures in sports, entertainment, politics, and business. They’ll discuss how the country has evolved in the 50 years since Title IX was enacted and also cover what the future holds.
Candace is executive producing the film – which was green-lit by Turner Sports – in conjunction with her newly-launched production company, Baby Hair Productions, in association with Scout Productions. And if you don’t think that company name is next-level genius – gurl bii! Scout Productions will lend tons of experience to the project, having produced award-winning hits like Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot and HBO Max’s Legendary.
“Candace’s experiences matter to so many people – especially young women and girls – that look up to her, both for her great accomplishments on the court and as a leading voice in today’s basketball conversations,” said Tara August, Turner Sports’ senior vice president of talent relations and special projects. “We are proud to partner with her to tell the story of Title IX through her lens and to spotlight the importance of gender equity in sports.”
To watch the documentary, tune in during the weekend of the NCAA basketball Final Four. Catch 37 Words: A Title IX Story on TBS on April 2nd at 1pm EST.
“I never envisioned this,” Candace said, referring to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot signing a proclamation to make Candace Parker Day official. “That’s what is so special about basketball. It opens up so many doors. I have the mayor saying she watched me play my senior year. Her daughter is playing basketball now. It’s about carrying it on and trying to open up more doors for the next.”
The Title IX documentary will showcase and pay homage to the doors that have been opened. Hopefully, it will also inspire more women to break down doors. We can’t wait to watch.