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ELEVATE official website The documentary follows the lives of 4 African basketball players (three...

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ELEVATE official website The documentary follows the lives of 4 African basketball players (three 7 footers and a PG) on their journey from SEEDS Academy in Senegal to high and prep schools in the US to pursue their dreams of making it to the NBA like Mutombo back in the day - or at least to get a solid academic foundation to improve their lives and those of their communities when they return. There seem to be a number of "fish out of water" moments, as they have to deal with everything from a different language and schooling system to racism/ignorance to cold weather to injuries. Maybe not the most original idea for a documentary ever, but still a very interesting look at what happens before an international player or in particular an African player often appears on the draft radar seemingly almost out of nowhere (Hasheem Thabeet to a lesser degree since he played at a major college, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo via Europe, ...). And at the lives of the many players who don't quite make it that far but still have an impact on US college and high school sports. SEEDS was founded by Amadou Gallo Fall, a former scout and executive of the Mavericks, who now oversees the NBA's efforts in Johannesburg, South Africa to promote basketball in Africa. One of the schools profiled in the film is tiny South Kent School in CT that still produced alumni Andray Blatche (Wizards), Dorrell Wright (Warriors, formerly Heat), and Isaiah Thomas (Kings, Washington Huskies) in recent years. I only stumbled across this trailer by chance, and I guess that's true for the rest of the world and US right now. While ESPN Films seems to have co-produced the film and it was shown at a few festivals, it doesn't seem to have received a national release yet. According to IMDB, it just ran on one screen on opening weekend in late October, grossing $3,547. Ouch. So they seem to rely on social media efforts to get a wider distribution. You can follow their Twitter account at @elevatemovie Facebook page Website of SEEDS Foundation and Academy There is also an email address given on the site that belongs to the production company to request the movie for your city. Sharp 7 Films New York sharp7llc@me.com It sounds like it could fit the basketball-loving demographic in the Pacific NW. Any chance we can get this to Portland or Seattle ;-)
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