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ESPN’s ‘Dream On’ details journey from 1996 Olympics to birth of WNBA

(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

The latest entry in ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series chronicles the 1996 Olympic women’s Dream Team and the launch of the WNBA. “Dream On” will air on June 15 on ESPN.

The film, which features never-before-seen footage across three parts, details the 14-month lead-up to the Olympics and Team USA’s gold medal run. Hanging in the balance was the fate of the WNBA. If the team won gold, the NBA would launch the WNBA. If not, there would be no women’s league.

“In 1992, we wanted to be a part of the process,” Dream Team member Teresa Edwards says in the documentary. We wanted to be recognized. We’d already won two gold medals back-to-back. The men hadn’t.”

The team ended up going a perfect 8-0 for the tournament. The documentary includes interviews with all 12 players from the team, including Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes, Rebecca Lobo and more, as well as coach Tara VanDerveer.

The film, directed by Kristen Lappas. mixes 25 original interviews with footage of the women’s team from the past and present.

“As we celebrate 50 years since Title IX was passed, there is no better time to share the journey of these hidden figures of basketball who opened the doors for future generations of athletes,” Lappas said in a release. “The story of this incredible team – one that won over its many skeptics – transcends sports and speaks to the human condition at large. I’m certain their story will win over audiences too.”

The documentary will air at 8 p.m. ET next Wednesday on ESPN. You can watch the full trailer below: