Looking for something to watch tonight? At 9 p.m. ET, ESPN will air “EDDIE,” a documentary about Eddie Sutton. The legendary basketball coach passed away in May at the age of 84, less than two months after being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The film is produced by Christopher Hunt and profiles the highs and lows of Sutton’s life, from his accomplishments on the court (taking four different schools to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Final Four three times, winning 806 games over 37 seasons) and his struggles off it (the recruiting scandal at Kentucky, his DUI while at Oklahoma State, and his battles with alcoholism). Former Wildcat Sean Sutton, now an advisor at Texas Tech under Chris Beard, gave Hunt the family’s blessing on the documentary, and talked to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf about it. You can read the entire interview here, but here’s a short excerpt.
ESPN: There were some emotional moments for you and your family in this documentary. What was it like to film the documentary and open your life to the film crew?
Sean Sutton: It was a long process. I did three separate sit-down interviews, probably over three hours each. I probably interviewed somewhere between nine and 10 hours over a six-month period. You have to put yourself in the mind frame of when all those different events occurred, circumstances around his career. Certainly, there were a lot of great achievements. There were a lot of highlights, but there were some difficult times our family went through. With each, I think it made our family a little bit stronger. And our mother, Patsy, was the rock of the family through everything.
It taught us at a young age that adversity is part of life. You either rise above it or you crumble with it. Dad was a great example of that to me and my brothers. My mom refused to let us buckle under those circumstances. It probably prepared us for other things down the road. It wasn’t easy to go back and kind of relive it. But you can’t tell the good without the bad. There was some really good, bad and ugly. That was my dad. That was my life. To open up and talk about some of the things that went on behind the scenes for the public to view, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was easy, but it was important. It was important to get an accurate depiction of his life and career. I think the film paints a pretty accurate picture of his life, his career and everything that our family went through together.
ESPN, 9 p.m. Set the DVR.