Watch 30 for 30: Personal Stories

This Emmy-winning sports documentary series gives viewers insight into compelling dramas that occur on and off the field of play. Initially conceived to commemorate ESPN's 30th anniversary, the title became a long-running umbrella for covering the triumphs and tragedies of sports heroes.

ESPN
1 Season, 5 Episodes
April 27, 2010
Sports
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30 for 30: Personal Stories Full Episode Guide

  • On Thursday, Nov. 7, 1991, Earvin "Magic" Johnson made people stop and watch at the Forum in Inglewood, California. But this time it wasn't his basketball brilliance as a perennial NBA All-Star and three-time MVP that was captivating audiences worldwide. Instead, the 32-year-old ground-breaking point guard was holding a press conference to make the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately. More than 20 years after the announcement, director Nelson George gets to the core of Magic's incredible personal journey and explores how he continues to thrive two decades later, thanks in large part to the fortitude of his wife, the vision of his friend and AIDS activist, the late Elizabeth Glaser, and the commitment of his former head coach Pat Riley. Friends and Family share their memories of that time and insights on the character of the man who put a new face on HIV and AIDS.

  • Chris Herren, Fall River, Massachusetts' high school basketball superstar, played for Boston University, for Jerry Tarkanian's Fresno State team, bounced around the NBA (once playing for his beloved Celtics) and around the globe. Chris failed drug tests wherever he played. Ultimately, Chris - the youngest and most talented of three generations of local heroes - has found redemption and personal fulfillment through the game, but only after it led him down a path of alcohol and drug addiction that nearly killed him.

  • In 1981, college athletic recruiting changed forever as a dozen big time football programs sat waiting for the decision of a physically powerful and lightning-quick high school running back named Marcus Dupree. Having already graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, Dupree attracted recruiters from schools in every major conference to his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss. More than a decade removed from being a flashpoint in the civil rights struggle, Philadelphia was once again thrust back into the national spotlight. Dupree took the attention in stride, and committed to Oklahoma. What followed, though, was a forgettable college career littered with conflict, injury and oversized expectations. Eight-time Emmy Award winner Jon Hock will examine why this star burned out so young and how he ultimately used football to redeem himself.

  • Few athletes in Olympic history have reached such heights and depths as Marion Jones. After starring at the University of North Carolina and winning gold at the 1997 and '99 World Track and Field Championships, her rise to the top culminated at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. Jones captivated the world with her beauty, style and athletic dominance, sprinting and jumping to three gold medals and two bronze. Eventually though, her accomplishments and her reputation would be tarnished. For years, Jones denied the increasing speculation that she used performance-enhancing drugs. But in October 2007, she finally admitted what so many had long suspected - that she had indeed used steroids. Calling herself a liar and a cheat in a federal courtroom, Jones was sentenced to 6 months in prison for lying to federal investigators and soon saw her Olympic achievements disqualified. Now a free woman once again, Jones is running in a new direction in life and taking time to reflect. Director John Singleton will focus on the rise, fall and re-birth of Marion Jones, including her desire to slow down and come clean about her mistakes. Rebuilding her life with her new husband and children, Jones is determined to be a model of perseverance.

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30 for 30: Personal Stories is currently available to watch and stream on ESPN. You can also buy, rent 30 for 30: Personal Stories on demand at iTunes online.