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Documentary on Cordia High School and Rodrick Rhodes streaming now

Remember us telling you about “Us Against The World,” Uproxx’s documentary series about Rodrick Rhodes and the Cordia High School basketball team? All ten episodes of the docuseries dropped today on and are free to stream.

The documentary tells the story of how Rhodes rebuilt the Cordia High School program with transfers from across the country, which created tension with rival programs in Eastern Kentucky and led to racist acts and hate-mongering. In May 2016, Rhodes was removed as coach after the program was slapped with several KHSAA sanctions for violations ranging from recruiting to providing illegal benefits to players. Earlier that year, Cordia won its first ever All “A” Basketball Championship.

In the opening scene of the first episode, Rhodes recalls a conversation he had with former teammate Jeff Sheppard about taking the job back in 2011 and Sheppard’s initial concerns about the reception Rhodes would receive in Eastern Kentucky. Sheppard eventually reasoned that people would accept Rhodes because he was “blue,” aka a former Kentucky player, but in the documentary, Rhodes said that he found out his friend was right to be worried.

“To be honest with you, I think that wore off. The blue wore off,” Rhodes said.  

All ten episodes are available now for free on Watchable. Drew Franklin will have a review of the series for you tomorrow.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

43 Comments for Documentary on Cordia High School and Rodrick Rhodes streaming now

  1. Sentient Third Eye
    4:18 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

    The first episode is very engaging. About the only thing negative I can say is that it has so much “shaky cam” cinematography that it would make even J. J. Abrams seasick.

  2. 4everUKblue
    4:54 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

    I have watched the first two episodes and my immediate thought is those people in Knott Co. responsible for what went on down there should be ashamed of themselves. I’m embarrassed that we still have people like that in this commonwealth.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:59 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

      It appears Rod, after first getting screwed by Pitino who ran him off to sign Ron Mercer, got screwed again in the state of Kentucky.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:58 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

      Yep I remember that well. Shows you the kind of person Pitino was even when he was here.

  3. oruacat2
    5:49 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

    I like Rhodes, and I’ve long been ashamed of the racism and ignorance in parts of my home state, but I think it’s sketchy as hell to be recruiting kids from around the country to play at the high school level.

    It’s a sad testament to just how much we prioritize athletics that it’s trickled-down to this level.

    • 4everUKblue
      6:01 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

      Sorry but I think it was more about helping kids get out of the hood and teaching them how to be men than it was winning games. That may be their only shot at getting out. I think the fact that Rhodes stayed after losing the job speaks volumes.

    • oruacat2
      9:54 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe, but there are a lot of poor kids in EKY that could use help “getting out”, too.

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:14 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

      Well, oruacat2, that’s where “getting an education” comes into play.

    • FreeFowler
      9:30 am September 20, 2017 Permalink

      orucat2, you’re right, there are a lot of poor kids in EKY that can use help getting out. It just so happens,for a lot of them, their avenue for “getting out” is not going to be basketball. For these kids, it is basketball. So i’m all in for whatever helps out kids. As Cal always says, do what is best FOR THE KIDS. If you can think of a different avenue for EKY kids to “get out”, I think everyone would be all ears.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:54 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

      I don’t remember drivebys being a problem in Eastern KY, one of the NY kids had lost two of his best friends which as far as I understand is regular occurrence in NYC hoods.

    • BigBlueMeade
      10:23 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

      Opioid crisis is destroying the mountains though.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:08 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Drug use is a choice, driveby shootings is not.

    • FreeFowler
      8:20 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Still trying to figure out how these kids are making it tougher for EKY kids getting out of EKY. If anything, it helps the EKY kids because more college coaches are coming to those games.

  4. badtoothjones
    11:13 pm September 19, 2017 Permalink

    Just binged watched the series. Love what Rod is doing in the hollers of Eastern Kentucky. He keeps it real with his players and tells them nothing but the truth. The only problem I had with the entire series is that they spelt Frankfort, “Frankfurt”. Would love to see Oumar Keita at UK. He seems like a solid kid that truly understands what’s important in life. Teamwork, trust, and family. Not to mention he’s a 7 footer who can pass and shoot the rock.

  5. FreeFowler
    9:50 am September 20, 2017 Permalink

    All the people in the documentary whining about how “unfair” it is. “It’s unfair to the other kids.” Seriously? Work harder then. Get better. Also, at the end of the day, it’s High School basketball, its not the end of the world.. I’m all for these kids bettering their lives even if it means little jimmy’s dad from EKY gets upset they took an L.

  6. BoogieDMC
    9:47 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

    Rod was a real a$$ to Pitino while he was at UK(and I HATE PITINO). I witnessed a phone conversation he had with Rick when he was a soph. and couldn’t believe he got away with it. He had to go. Entitled jerk.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:50 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

      He was a kid who has obviously grown and changed for the better. Can’t say the same for Pitino, his picture should be in the dictionary under ass.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:04 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

      Oh and liar, adulterer, egomaniac….I could go on but I’m keeping it clean.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:45 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Rod was never perfect (who is?), but he’s always been a favorite of mine because whatever he does, he puts everything into it and he wears his heart on his sleeve. You could see that in his very first game as a Cat, and you can see it in this documentary.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:48 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I agree with STE….excellent point.

  7. BoogieDMC
    10:14 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

    I hate Pitino, but I’m not going to paint Rod as a victim of being ran off. Has Rod grown and changed for the better? I haven’t seen the documentary, but why did he come back to Kentucky anyway? He’s from Jersey City and graduated from USC. He has the nerve to say “the blue wore off.” The only reason he was given a job in Kentucky was because of the Blue. He’s an a$$ and always will be.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:17 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe you should watch the documentary before you pass judgement. You from Eastern KY?

    • MattyBangsPCResponse
      8:21 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Everyone’s a victim in one way or the other. Who gets to decide which victims we should care about and not? I’ll answer my own question… MSNBC, CNN, MSESPN, etc…. There appears to be a common theme among these bastions of liberals.

  8. BoogieDMC
    10:23 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

    The guy grew up in the NYC metro area and his alma mater is in LA. He leaned on the hollers of Kentucky for his coaching break? My roots are from Perry County. Are you from Eastern KY?

    • FreeFowler
      8:23 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      “Rhodes was an assistant coach at the University of Texas Pan-American, and was previously an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts and an Administrative Assistant Coach at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey. In 2005, he was an assistant coach at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and after enjoying a successful season there, he moved on to become an assistant at Idaho State University in 2006.[1] In 2011, Rhodes was hired to coach at Cordia High School in Knott County, Kentucky.[2]”

      Yeah man, he really used Cordia High School to catch a coaching break…..It took 30 seconds to google that.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:35 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Great job FF!

  9. 4everUKblue
    10:38 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

    Had a feeling you were from there because you exhibit the same narrow mindedness a the people against Cordia did… explains a lot. No I’m proud to say I am not from Eastern KY. Where I come from people believe in second chances and that people can change, obviously not the case where you come from. And who gives a sh!t where he’s from it’s not like boundaries cannot be crossed. And I don’t believe he leaned on anyone or place, he has stayed there without a job, something you might know if you watched the documentary….. Afraid you might be wrong?

  10. BoogieDMC
    11:02 pm September 20, 2017 Permalink

    I’m from Chicago, IL and live in Tampa, FL. . My roots are from Eastern Kentucky, Don’t give me any narrow minded crap either, my son has been the only caucasian on his football and basketball teams for the last 6 seasons and we’re having a blast. I’m saying Rod was an A##hole at UK. He grew up in the largest city in the country and graduated college from the second largest city in the country. Over 40 million people in those places and he picked Knott County, KY to bring select inner-city recruits to get a job. No way if he didn’t play at UK, he gets that job. Now he talks about the “blue wearing off”? He knew he’d run over the competition and he knew he could make race an issue. Hell, there’s a documentary made.

    • gobigbrew
      4:47 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m having a hard figuring out what your point is..

      Are you upset because he was rude to Pitino? Are you upset that he came back to Kentucky?

      You talk about him getting the Cordia job like its some highly sought after job. I’m surely if any former player from a major D1 turned coach approached a school – really most schools in Kentucky – they’d be considered for the job. Blue or not.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:15 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m sorry if narrow minded fits and it pisses you off. And just because your son is the only white kid on the team does not make you any less narrow minded. Sounds to me like the blue wore off you. And last time I checked anyone can go anywhere and coach, KY is the best place in the country to coach high school basketball so why wouldn’t he come here and help kids get out of a no win situation. Is there another county in KY that would have suited you better or can people from big cities not move to the country? You have zero cred until you watch the documentary. What are you afraid of?

    • Cletis75
      10:30 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Fact of the matter remains that he selected a place that the rules prohibit what he was trying to accomplish. He should have started a aau team or something like that. I do believe that he had the best interest of the kids in mind,however, I don’t think teaching kids that breaking the rules and expecting everyone to give you your own way is fair to them either.

  11. hartlines left arm
    1:02 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t buy that Rhodes was looking to do anything other than stir up racial tensions for a documentary. If I’m looking to help some people come up and better themselves sticking them in the poorest area makes a lot of sense. Not to mention for ever kid he brought there that was one less opportunity for one local kid. He was bound to have known the lack of diversity on top of the fact that some locals kids wouldn’t get to play now would cause issues. Just saying

    • 4everUKblue
      7:18 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m sure that was the only reason he took the job. Local kids don’t get to play all over the country because they’re not good enough. How about work harder, want it more, get better? Sounds like you and BDMC are roomies.

  12. IAmTheDanger
    7:36 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Without commenting one way or the other on what Rod was doing was right or wrong….I will say I have a newfound respect for him. I have to admit, when he transferred from UK, I wasn’t disappointed. But after watching this doc, he has a way with kids and I feel it is heart-felt. I wish Rod Rhodes the best at whatever he decides to do. .

  13. Sentient Third Eye
    8:26 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    It wasn’t really racism in Knott County that brought Rod down: it was jealousy from other coaches who felt they were being “Rose Hilled” again. I don’t think Rod or Cordia intentionally set out to cheat, but after Rose Hill, coaches are very sensitive to excessive transfers for sports purposes because they are not in a position to do the same thing. So they put pressure on officials, it gets political, and they investigate until they eventually find something.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:28 am September 21, 2017 Permalink


      But if the coaches were smart, they would realize that better competition makes their own teams better too, even if it means a few more “L”s. That was what they never seemed to grasp with Rose Hill and they didn’t grasp it with Cordia either.

    • IAmTheDanger
      8:40 am September 21, 2017 Permalink


    • FreeFowler
      8:40 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      One of the most logical points I’ve seen on here. People whining about it being unfair to other kids. It helps these kids if they are actually serious about basketball. College coaches don’t want to go out to EKY to scout recruits. This gives those coaches a reason and gives every high school hooper out there more exposure.

    • Cletis75
      9:31 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Recruiting players is against the rules in Kentucky high school. If you want to do what he is doing, there’s the aau circuit for that. If you know what the rules are and you break them, you get punished. Had they made the rules up to stop him specifically, that’s a different story.

  14. kfwa
    8:27 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I haven’t seen the documentary but is the summary Rod put together a team of ringers from other parts of the country to play against local talent, and when the local talent said that wasn’t fair the race card was eventually played?

    • IAmTheDanger
      8:44 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      There were a # of KHSAA rules that Rod ignored in getting players to Cordia and he basically had the powers that be in the area against him. But I agree with STE above…..when Cordia starting winning, people went nuts and dropped the hammer.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:30 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      So if this had happened in North Carolina it would have been no problem….unless of course the kids were actually attending the fake classes and actually trying to get an education.

  15. wadl5592
    12:22 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I always liked Rodrerick Rhodes, this is a very bad look for Kentucky, it makes me sad.