Emotional roller-coaster of state championship relived at City College

A documentary by a City alumnus retells the highs and lows of the 2017 basketball championship run.


David Pradel’s documentary was screened at San Diego City College. Photo courtesy David Pradel YouTube

Vicky Pineda, Assistant Sports Editor

San Diego City College World Cultures presented a screening of “The City’s Champions,” a documentary made by alumni David Pradel.

The documentary followed the Knights’ journey to the 2017 California State Championship and also honors one of the players, Nate Edwards.

Edwards took his own life in 2017, which impacted his family, championship teammates and the City College community.

About a dozen people attended the event, including coach Mitch Charlens and Cassandra Edwards, Nate’s mom.

The documentary was very hard and emotional for some people to sit through.

Those in attendance could hear sniffles and chuckles throughout the auditorium when the documentary showed Darien McClain making the winning shot in the final seconds of the game and the documentary’s ability to capture who Nate Edwards was.

“I cried when Darien makes the game win shot and I cried seeing Nate,” said Charlens. “This film is so well done, it stirs up all the same emotions as when it first happened.”

The film ended in a forum for the people who attended the event.

Not talking about mental illness was a topic of discussion.

“The kids need to know there are resources beforehand,” Cassandra Edwards said. “We need to be wise enough to realize there’s no face to depression and there is no face to mental illness. My son’s story and David’s story is going to save a lot more of young people’s lives.

“I just pray that through these stories we become open and willing to be honest that they need more resources on campuses and community in particularly athletes.”  

Pradel said the reason he made the film was for Nate Edwards.

“I’ve seen on his Twitter page that it was three days before his birthday,” Pradel said. “(It) said his birthday was July 6, that summer I was carrying that grief, guilt, and sadness. I just got the idea of doing something for him because he was so supportive during the season of my work. If he was still here he would tell me to do a video.” 

Those who don’t discuss the issue are the ones affected the most, according to Nadine Rodgers, a mental health counselor at City College.

“Depression doesn’t look like we see in the commercials,” Rogers said. “It affects communities that don’t talk about mental illness, that don’t have those conversations … culturally it’s taking its toll on college students.

“Sometimes the happiest person is the one that is hurting the most. I suggest reaching out.”

Mental Health Counseling provides group counseling, suicide training and prevention, and depression screenings to students and faculty.  

The Mental Health Counseling Department is located in  A-180 or you can call 619-388-3055 to make an appointment.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night, text COURAGE to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or chat online.