FUSION’s documentary series “The Naked Truth” was recognized by the Headliner Awards for its special report “Trick Shots.”
The one-hour documentary, which took an in-depth look at the trafficking of student athletes, took home the third place award in a category that has an incredible long title: “Broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators documentary or series of reports on the same subject.”
Guns, drugs, and women forced into sex work dominate the global trafficking market, but there’s another commodity showing up in the U.S. — young athletes trafficked to play high-school basketball.
In a year-long FUSION investigation captured in a new hour-long documentary “The Naked Truth: Trick Shots,” award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller explores the disparate network of coaches and con men who exploit kids from all over the world for profit.
FUSION finds young people being ripped off and even extorted by prep schools─some have been left homeless, even jailed or deported. FUSION’s quest to find the origin of these trafficking networks takes viewers to Serbia to track down unscrupulous recruiters and to West Virginia, Georgia and Florida to meet the victims and confront the ringleaders. The docu-series also shadows law enforcement officials attempting to combat this rarely discussed form of trafficking and explains why it’s so hard to punish the perpetrators.
See a full list of winners here.