'The Crossover': Jalyn Hall and Amir O'Neil Explain Why Disney+ Series Is Not Predictable (Exclusive)

There are plenty of basketball movies and television shows to choose from, but the new Disney+ series The Crossover looks to be different. PopCulture.com spoke to The Crossover stars Jayln Hall and Amir O'Neal, who explained how the series stands out from other basketball movies and shows. 

"I feel as though it's a lot of the time basketball shows or basketball movies have, and not in a disrespectful way to any of them, but it's kind of predictable," Hall exclusively told PopCulture. "Some of the times it's, oh, I play basketball as a way out, especially with Black basketball movies. It's just they're in struggle, but basketball is the resort, the salvation almost. And I feel like it's kind of universally thought that with athletic powers or being a jock, if you will, you're kind of a dope, but that's not true. And with this particular project, you get everybody, every authentic representation and personality of everyday teens, in particular, but also adults as well rolled all into these two boys."

(Photo: Disney/Alyssa Moran)

The Crossover focuses on Josh (Hall) and JB (O'Neal) Bell who are young basketball stars who seem to have the same goal of reaching the NBA. But we learn that JB has other goals he wants to achieve as he gets older, which doesn't sit well with Josh. 

"I'll say that acting is most definitely my number one passion," O'Neal said when asked if he can relate to JB. "But I do enjoy other things. I enjoy basketball. I enjoy to draw. I like to read. And I feel like it's important. But in the case of JB, it's more what he wants to pursue in life that he's really pondering about. So for him, it really could be anything. It could be basketball, it could be art, could be music, could be fashion. So he's trying to figure out what he likes to do and who he is and what, I guess, career path or which endeavor suits him the most."

Josh's singular goal is to play in the NBA but he has other strong qualities that make him an interesting character. "He's like an onion. He has layers and that's the beauty of it," Hall said. "But being able to play him, it's an honor because he's complex in the way that when it's time to rock out on the basketball court, he's there. Some kids growing up they have a blanket or a pacifier that brings in comfort, but him, nine times out of 10, you're going to see him with a basketball. That's his comfort. And then also his comfort is his journal, writing poems and expressing himself through words." All eight episodes of The Crossover can be streamed on Disney+