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The Game’s Real MVP
By Amen Oyiboke, Staff Writer
Published January 23, 2015

Hosea Chanchez says farewell to 9 seasons of the show

‘The Game’ star Hosea Chanchez plans to pursue more opportunities in television, movies and public speaking after the show ends. (Caitlin Mitchell)

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Since heading to Hollywood after high school, Hosea Chanchez has seen his career blossom. He started off doing commercials and transitioned into television where he has made appearances on shows such as “NCIS”, “The Shield” and “Girlfriends.” However, his most prominent role on television is as an ego-tripping quarterback football player Malik Wright on BET’s “The Game.” He has become a household name in prime-television because of this role and soon his character will make his final touchdown.

“I was just 24 years old when the show started. I feel good and I know that it’s the perfect time. I don’t want to outdo my welcome on TV with this particular character. I’m ready to end the series because we’ve done pretty much as much as we can do for a show that’s been on air for this long,” said Chanchez, 33, about closing out the show.

The half hour dramedy has been on television for almost ten years. The show is executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Kenny Smith, Hale Rothesian, Jenifer Rice-Genzuk and Kelsey Grammer.  The series takes a behind-the-scenes look at families from the fictional football team San Diego Sabers, as they navigate through drama, fame and football life.

“It’s crazy to think that we’ve had 9 seasons of the show already. These last two seasons of the show honestly have been my most framed moments,” said Chanchez.

 It first started on CW in 2006 and stayed on the network for three seasons until 2009. After fans campaigned to bring back the series, BET picked up the show in 2011 where they moved film production to Atlanta, Georgia. All original cast members came back for their roles, but producers soon made some major character changes.

The show’s favorite couple, Melanie Barnett and Derwin Davis, (played by Tia Mowry-Hardict and Pooch Hall) were taken off the show after season five and replaced by actors Jay Ellis and Lauren London.

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“I grew a lot during that time as a man and as an actor. Our industry is forever changing and it showed me not to get to comfortable in your position in this business. It made me appreciate my moments a lot more, because you never know when those moments will be over,” he said.

 Watch season 8 of ‘The Game’ every Wednesday on BET. (Courtesy of Guy D’Alema/BET Networks)

As an actor on the show, Chanchez experienced working with multiple characters and add-ons every season. This brought a much-needed depth for his character. “I didn’t really have a consistent significant other on the show, so I always had to adapt to new people every season. Different rhythms of other people teach you as an artist how to be a lot more fluid, present and giving as an actor,” he said.

Over the years Chanchez’s character Malik has experienced instability in both personal and professional areas dealing with injuries, financial issues, alcoholism and tackling a rocky love life. In many ways, his role tied into several areas of his personal life and viewpoints.

“In the beginning I thought I had nothing in common with Malik,” said Chanchez about his character. “But, now I see that we both are men of conviction. We both reason in living and dying for what we believe in. Malik has really turned into the type of person who has tenacity and I really admire his character for that.”

Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, by his grandparents Chanchez believes that having a strong foundation and support system is key to having a successful career. “My grandparents always taught me that in life it’s not about what [career] you do that makes you who you are, but more about what you do with your gifts that makes you significant,” he said. That is why Chanchez developed a non-profit organization called Watch Me Win. Through prayer and meditation he dedicated the non-profit organization to empower, mentor and encourage leadership development for urban youth. “I’ve always felt this responsibility to do something bigger than myself.  It is more pleasing and serving to me to do more for those who come after me,” he said. “I created it for the youth because I realized early on that the biggest enemy of my life was my mind. It wasn’t a physical person. It was my ability to overcome things that happened in my life. Once I realized that I could manipulate those feelings and work toward what I wanted for my life.” 

As his chapter closes on “The Game,” Chanchez plans to embrace his off time to explore new opportunities. “The goal is to just keep doing what I’m doing. Whatever right opportunities come towards me I will seize them. The plan is to continue doing what I love.” Season 8 will consist of 8 episodes airing consecutively each Wednesday.

Catch Chanchez on seasons 8 and 9 of “The Game” every Wednesday at 9 P.M. ET/PT on BET and check out www.watchmewin.org for more information about his non-profit.

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