‘Long Slow Exhale’ Explores Women’s College Basketball — With a Side of Murder (VIDEO)

A murder mystery set in the world of women’s college basketball? Slam dunk. Long Slow Exhale tips off with a tough but nurturing head coach, J.C. Abernathy (Rose Rollins), shocked to find out that a colleague has been accused of sexual assault. Things go from bad to worse – way worse – when a body turns up.

“It’s a really tough journey,” Rollins tells us. Her character is deeply concerned for the girls she coaches; her own kids; her loyal husband Garrett (Lyriq Bent); and her career. “We have to find out who’s behind it. And at first, you have no idea. It could be anyone.”

Everyone’s secrets are exposed, and relationships are shaken, as the 12 episodes unfold. Abernathy finds herself at odds with slick university athletic director Hillman Ford (Josh Lucas). “He’s a puppet master controlling things you don’t realize he’s controlling,” Lucas says. It also causes a rift with her longtime friend and colleague, assistant Coach Eddie Hagen (Ian Harding).

“He’s a great coach, but his life starts to unravel,” Harding says.

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Despite the heartbreak going on around them, the team tries to keep their heads in the game, and there are great sequences of actual basketball playing. “They are more focused on how to win, more than anything, to be a sisterhood,” says Brittney Elena, who plays Corrine Porter, a hotshot dealing with the high expectations of her dad, Desmond (NFL great Tony Gonzalez). Gonzalez, who played basketball for Cal Berkeley, says, “I can identify, having four children myself. I love how this show focuses on female sports. That was really cool to be a part of.”

Long Slow Exhale, Series Premiere, Monday, April 4, Spectrum