The Greenwich Historical Society invites you to the public premier of the documentary film Pushing Boundaries: UConn’s First NBA Player, a stirring account of the life and career of athlete and music executive Worthy Patterson, who passed away in late 2022 at the age of 91.
Patterson, raised in Greenwich and a student at Greenwich High School in the 1940s, credited the Greenwich Boys Club for introducing him to the sport of basketball. He played guard for the UConn Huskies from 1951-54, was the first Black player to captain a sport at UConn and became the first UConn alumnus – as well as among one of the first generation of Black players – to play in an NBA game in 1957 as a member of the St. Louis Hawks.
Pushing Boundaries: UConn’s First NBA Player features interviews with Patterson and his family and charts his upbringing in Greenwich, professional basketball career and subsequent success in the recording industry as a record executive for RCA and Warner Brothers. A Q&A with filmmaker Ronnie Forchheimer, Queen Patterson, and Worthy Patterson III will follow the screening, with members of the Patterson family joining via Zoom from California.
Worthy Patterson’s story, and others of notable local athletes through history, will be featured in the Greenwich Historical Society’s upcoming exhibition Sports! More Than Just a Game, opening March 8, 2023.
Ronnie Forchheimer is an award winning journalist, who has worked at CNN, ESPN, and NBC Boston. He has reported on Super Bowls, NBA Finals, NCAA Final Fours, World Series, Stanley Cup Championships, the Olympics, and many boxing title fights. Throughout his career, Forchheimer has sought to bring these events and athletes to life by capturing their true essence.
Much of Forchheimer’s work has revolved around investigative journalism and reporting on social issues, including 10 years as the coordinating producer for ESPN’s Outside the Lines. He has earned multiple Sports Emmy awards, including the 2002 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Journalism for his work on “Tales of Torture,” which chronicled the abuse of elite Iraqi athletes.
After 40 years working in network television, Forchheimer has spent the past few years combining his passion for story telling and illuminating interesting characters. His latest work is a documentary on Worthy Patterson, entitled, “Pushing Boundaries: The First UConn Player in the NBA.” The film tells the story of Patterson excelling in predominantly white Greenwich, becoming the first Black captain of any sport at UConn, being UConn’s first of 38 players in the NBA, and then as a record executive. Patterson reached these heights as a Black person navigating the discrimination and racism before, during, and after the civil rights movement.
Forchheimer grew up in Hartsdale, NY and now lives in Avon CT, by way of Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Boston. He graduated from Emerson College, where he was a proud member of the basketball team.