‘Shooting Stars’: Khalil Everage and Avery Wills Jr. Describe Character’s Basketball Skills (Exclusive)
Shooting Stars tells the story of LeBron James and his teammates at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School becoming a top basketball team in the nation. And while James became a phenom in high school, he could not have been successful if it wasn’t for the guys he played with since they were kids. PopCulture.com spoke to Khalil Everage and Avery Wills Jr. who play Sian Cotton and Willie McGee, respectively, in Shooting Stars, which is now streaming on Peacock. The two describe their characters and what they bring to the court.
“Shaq vibes. Baby Shaq vibes,” Everage exclusively told PopCulture when asked which NBA player he compares to Sian Cotton. “It was amazing. I can relate to him in many ways. We’re both big guys. When most people see us, they kind of can sometimes be intimidated, but once you sit down and have a two or three-minute conversation, that’s one thing I realized, in two or three-minute conversation I first had with Sian was just that he’s just this goofy guy, a funny silly guy, that once you have a conversation with him, he going to make you smile.”
For Wills, he enjoyed playing Willie McGee because he has a lot of fun on and off the court. “As a character, Willie, he just likes to have fun and kick it with his guys,” Wills said. “He’s going to stick up for his brothers. Just the basic foundations of a best friend, he plays that role with all four of his friends. When it comes to the basketball court, in this film, Willie is a flashy type of player, so he likes to do flashy moves and stuff like that, but he gets to the rim a lot. He has a handle on him, so he’s like a smart guard when he’s playing basketball.”
Shooting Stars is not only about what James and his friends accomplished on the basketball court, but the film also shows the bond the five guys have that is still strong today. Everyone knows what James did after high school, but his teammates also had successful lives. Sian Cotton went on to play college football at Ohio State and is now a musician. Willie McGee was the athletic director at St. Vincent-St. Mary and now works at the LeBron James Family Foundation as a We Are Family Coach.
- ‘Shooting Stars’: Wood Harris on How Basketball Film Was a ‘Fun Ride’ (Exclusive)
- ‘Shooting Stars’: Mookie Cook on Portraying LeBron James in Basketball Film (Exclusive)
- ‘Shooting Stars’: Caleb McLaughlin Talks Playing Basketball Star in Peacock Film (Exclusive)