ABC continues to roll out the starting lineup for its upcoming NBA comedy, most recently announcing that former Tulsa Hurricane Blondy Baruti will star as Mo, the hotshot ballplayer in the as-yet-untitled project. Baruti joins a cast that’s still a couple players (and performances) short of drawing comparisons to The Dream Team, but does include Pitch Perfect’s Skylar Astin and Draft Day’s Laura Steinel.
This is Baruti’s first professional acting gig, but it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch—he was a promising forward for the Tulsa Hurricanes before an injury benched him permanently, which may have been how he found the time to study acting. Baruti also grew up in the Republic of Congo before coming to the U.S. with his family; this echoes his character, an African player who speaks no English and communicates via Jason, the translator played by Astin. (Astin recently saw an opening in his schedule with the cancellation of Ground Floor.)
Early reports describe Jason as a directionless do-gooder who’s just wrapped up a Peace Corps stint, which seemingly makes him a perfect companion for Botswana baller Mo, who is talented but overwhelmed in the big leagues. Jason will teach Mo to navigate through American life, and since Mo’s knowledge of American culture consists mainly of Fantasy Island reruns, there should be at least one dream sequence with Jason as Tattoo.