AAU, African American, basketball, books, culture, documentary, gay, Hoop Dreams, independent film, Isaiah Thomas, LGBT, love, movie reviews, movies, perspective, point of view, racism, Sundance Film Festival
This film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African-American teenagers who are recruited by a scout from St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominantly white high school with an outstanding basketball program, whose alumni include NBA great Isiah Thomas.
Agee and Gates are both from poor, African-American neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. Gates lived in Cabrini–Green, while Agee and his family reside in West Garfield Park.
Taking 90-minute commutes to school, enduring long and difficult workouts and practices, and having to acclimate to a foreign social environment, Gates and Agee struggle to improve their athletic skills in a job market with heavy competition. Along the way, their families celebrate their successes and support each other during times of economic hardship caused from the school change.
The film raises a number of issues concerning race, class, economic division, education, and values in contemporary America.
This film also lets us see the ugly underbelly of the AAU circuit and their shady recruitment practices. For example, Agee was found and recruited to St. Joseph by a “scout” who found him on a playground in the hood, when he was in the 8th grade. Too bad nobody recruited me, 205 ya heard?