"White Men Can’t Jump": Duke Skywalka's Acting Debut!

Ballislife East Coast Squad member, Dazeran Jaquon “Duke Skywalka” Jones, will be featured in the new iteration of 20th Century Studios iconic hoops film, "White Men Can’t Jump". The move is set for release exclusively on Hulu, May 19, 2023.

Jones was approached about the opportunity by Jessi Sheldon, Game Changing Films co-founder, in February 2022. Then in March 2022, she offered him a role as an extra and told him to travel to Los Angeles from Florida to begin shooting on set.

While on set one day, Jones and New Williams, member of team Public Enemy in the Drew League and a former high school basketball standout in Southern California, were sitting in a production tent by a heater sharing social media strategies with each other when three people approached the pair.

“It was Jessi [Sheldon], Khalid Mutakabbir, basketball coordinator; and Aimee McDaniel, basketball coordinator,” Jones said. “They were like, can we get some pictures of you?”

After the brief photoshoot, Jones called his girlfriend and walked over to a nearby convenience store to pick up a beverage. Ten minutes later when he returned to set, he was given some unexpected demands.

“We need you to take that [jersey] off and gather all your belongings,” said the trio of film staff.

Confused and concerned, Jones began changing out of his wardrobe as the other extras watched from a distance. As he and the crew started walking about a half mile from the base camp to Venice Beach where the next scenes were being shot, Jones received some mind-shattering news.

“Congratulations, your role is being upgraded!” McDaniel exclaimed.

“What does that mean?” Jones asked with a surprised look.

“You have a dialogue role now. You’re actually in the film, not just the background,” said McDaniel.

Jones will be playing as himself in the film and while exact details couldn’t be provided due to a non-disclosure agreement, he claims that he can be spotted in a significant basketball scene during the film’s climax.

As a result of this elevated role, Jones has received eligibility from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and is a member of the SAG-AFTRA Union. He plans to build off of this momentum by taking improv classes and finding representation through a talent agency to participate in future productions.


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