Let 'Em Know You're There

Austin, Texas | Film Short

Documentary, Sport

Readily Apparent Media

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $12,950 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

61 supporters | followers

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Let 'Em Know You're There is a documentary about Jim Tucker, a former NBA player who has held the record for fastest triple-double for the past 60 years. Featuring animation that depicts the vibrant NBA era of the 1950s, the film uses Jim's record as a lens into a remarkable life outside basketball.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Jim Tucker is a pioneer for the sport of basketball, becoming one of the two first African Americans to win a professional championship. Our aim is to harness Jim's inspiring outlook on his Alzheimer's to shed a destigmatizing light on the disease.

The Story


Oftentimes we see sport as life concentrated. The drama, the celebrity, and the legends that come out of sports are the standard-bearers of our culture. Our teams and our heroes come to define us as fans and the cities we call home. It’s hard to picture a Green Bay without the Packers or Boston without the Red Sox,  all of which makes the forgotten parts of sports history all the more fascinating. In our society where so much importance is placed on the greatest and the records they set, it’s amazing that stories like Jim Tucker’s and the Syracuse Nationals’ have faded as time marches on.


Syracuse is where we pick up this story. “Salt City” as they called it, a hard-nosed city of industry with a basketball team to match. Owner Danny Biasone, a fiery italian immigrant, manager Leo Ferris, and coach Al Cervi had crafted a battle-hardened team. They needed to be tough because basketball wasn’t yet the graceful game of speed and dunks; it was a slow, bruising game more akin to hockey on a court. Yet, for all the Nationals’ grit, they still hadn’t won a championship by 1954. 1955, however, was a different story.


1955 is the season that Jim Tucker came onto the team. Making his way out of Kentucky and through Duquesne University, Jim didn’t seem like a good fit for the game’s rougher days. At 6’7” and 170 pounds, Jim was no enforcer, but what he lacked in size, he made up for in speed.


Speed would soon come in handy as Danny Biasone schemed of ways to get back at the big cities and their slowdown ways. Deliverance came in the form of the 24 second shot clock, saving the NBA and opening the door for the Nationals to win their first championship. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a story about how Jim, one of the first black players in the NBA, came onto the team and through his incredible skill, pushed this team over the hump and into the history. That simply wasn’t the case. Jim was a bench player, still too quick for a game that was coming of age. However, when he was finally given the opportunity, magic happened.


It happened on February 20, 1955. The place: Madison Square Garden, hoops mecca. In a criminally under-recorded game, Jim Tucker achieved basketball greatness: the Triple Double. That’s double digits in three categories (points, assists, and rebounds) all in an inhuman, record-setting 17 minutes. That record has withstood Jordan, Big O, and for now, Russell Westbrook.

In a tragic, yet fitting parallel to the diminished public memory of the Nationals, Jim’s memory is fading. After 10 years of hiding his symptoms, Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Games have blurred, memories of his career have faded, but what has vividly stuck with Jim are the people he’s touched along the way; his mother, his teammates, his children, and the people he touched in the business world are locked in technicolor. The reason for that is, despite our collective obsession with champions, Jim knows that the things that really matter in life are those within arms reach: the people we love and whom we can touch on a personal level. Jim likes to attribute that lesson to something his mother, Ms. Willie Tucker, used to say.


Director's Statement

I believe it’s extremely rare in life to come across work that changes you as much as Let ‘Em Know You’re There has. While I’ve been very fortunate to work with some incredible people over the years on some gratifying projects, my partners at Readily Apparent and I realized that we as filmmakers and our audiences could get so much more out of our entertainment with the right subject, partners, and cause. Little did we know that all those stars would align when one of my best friends since grade school called me with an idea for a story about his grandpa, Jim.


The learning curve has been steep, the days long, and the story has changed quite a bit since that first call, but I couldn’t be prouder of how far this team has come. What we have now is a story about a man that has an outlook on life I strongly wish to emulate better. Jim Tucker’s story is about the intersection of a city in its prime (Syracuse), an underdog team (the Nationals), and a special moment in time where basketball was evolving into the global phenomenon we know it as today. That story alone is a worthy of some screentime, but as we spent more time with Jim, we realized the importance of these events took a back seat in Jim’s mind to the people who were involved. The defining moment for the style of the film actually came from Jim himself as he described what it was like to remember something with Alzheimer’s- that many of his memories are no longer specific and discrete, instead he knows he is remembering something just by the way it feels.


We took that to heart when designing the film, opting for an impressionic style that borrowed the gritty “lunch bucket” aesthetic from Syracuse, and mixed it with Mad Men-era ads that Jim likely saw during his playing days.


Through this lens that’s been worn and crowded through age, it’s always the faces of people that stand out. Just the way Jim wants it.


Thanks for being a part of this with us,


Field Humphrey



Project Status

We have come a long way with this film. With the amazing support of our fiscal sponsor along with plenty of our own time and money spent, we've just about finished production. That takes us to truly and unavoidably expensive part of filmmaking: Post-Production. No amount of begging, borrowing, or belt tightening can get around the costs associated with licensing the footage we want to use and paying people for the processes we're not proficient in like sound mixing. 


This is where you come in. With your help, we can get all this lawyer-ly stuff behind us and get on with the good part: sharing this film with you. We've got a lot of great ideas of ways to show LEKYT depending on where you live that *could* involve super rare Nationals' memorabilia as well as fundraising events for the Alzheimer's Association. We can't wait and we can't thank you for helping us achieve this dream. 


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Archival Licensing/ Fair Use Attorney

Costs $10,000

The legal side isn't the most fun when it comes to film production, nor is being sued.

Color Correct

Costs $1,800

Color sets the tone of the film and makes scenes from NY to FL look consistent.

Sound Mix/ Music

Costs $2,200

Music makes the soul of the film shine and the mix is what makes it pleasant to listen to.

Festival Submission Fees/Travel

Costs $1,000

Submitting to festivals and traveling with the film adds up!

About This Team

Thanks so much for visiting our page!  


This film and your involvement means so much to us. While we have been working on this film for a little over a year, our roots with this story go much deeper. It all started with our director, Field, and the grandson our subject, Bernie.




Over the years, Field, along with producers, Ben and Patrick, have cut our teeth in the TV world with a couple of projects including a few installments of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series. As time went on we (Ben, Field, and Patrick) realized we wanted more out of the films we were creating. That’s why we created Readily Apparent Media- as a way to develop our own storytelling voices while experimenting with new and better ways to have our projects entertain and educate while serving and giving back to the people and communities we cover. 



At the same time we were starting Readily Apparent, Bernie began to talk to us more about this grandpa, Big Jim. After driving out to meet him, we were blown away by Jim and his story. Since that point, it’s been a whirlwind- we’ve traveled from Syracuse to Colorado, meeting some incredible people and unearthing this amazing story. 




As told by journalists such as Sean Kirst and Dave Ramsey alongside Jim and Syracuse locals, we explore how the story of a city, a team, and a man can have such an effect on our culture but remain all but forgotten. 


So thanks again for visiting our page, your interest and support means so much to us. It’s incredible how this project has evolved from something that was just going to be for Jim and his family into this film that we hope can be a tool to better tell Syracuse history and raise money to help fight Alzheimer’s.

Current Team