Netflix is often the place to go if you’re looking for an inspiring documentary – and sports docu Q Ball is exactly that.
NBA All-Star Kevin Durant produced Q Ball which has gained 94% positive feedback from Google users. The documentary was awarded the Documentary Grand Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival 2019.
Following the journeys of the prisoners of San Quentin State Prison, California, Q Ball hit Netflix on Friday, March 13th 2020 in the UK.
So, who is Rafael Cuevas from Q Ball? And what was his crime?
Who is Rafael Cuevas?
Viewers of Q Ball are introduced to Rafael Cuevas as the head coach of the prison’s basketball team, the San Quentin Warriors.
Preceding his appearance, a message read on the film: “After struggling his first year as a head coach, Rafael Cuevas is determined to get his team playing together. Earn a winning record. And win a championship over the Golden State Warriors’ coaching staff in the season’s final game.”
During Q Ball, Rafael said: “We found that basketball is one of the easiest ways to embrace guys that are really far removed from growth.”
Q Ball: Rafael Cuevas’ Crime
Of course, Rafael is incarcerated in a high-security prison. He was convicted of second-degree murder on September 17th, 2004 for the stabbing of 21-year-old Timothy Griffith. Rafael, 26 years old at the time, lashed out in self-defence according to a report from SFGate.
During the documentary, Rafael recounted his childhood as one of the reasons why he resorted to violence and cited his mother saying: “…be prepared to protect yourself at all times.”
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Where is the Q Ball star today?
As it stands, Rafael Cuevas is still incarcerated in California.
Timothy Griffith’s mother featured in Q Ball. She said of Rafael: “If he ever gets paroled, what will be hard for me, is that he is able to live a life that Tim will never live.”
In 2008, Rafael was sentenced to 16 years to life. In December 2018 he had his initial parole hearing, parole was denied. The San Quentin Prison is where Rafael is going to be for the foreseeable future. He’s eligible for parole again in 2023.
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