BY CARMELA FERRO
WHAT it’s about: Based on a true story, a successful sporting goods store owner accepts the job of basketball coach for his old high school in a poor area of Richmond, CA. Faced with the poor attitudes of his players he immediately imposes a written contract that demands respectful behaviour, ties on game days and consistent good grades in order to play on the team. When several of the players break their contracts Coach Carter enrages the team, the school and the community when he cancels all game-related activities and padlocks the gym until the team shows their academic improvement.
WHO’s in it: Samuel L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Channing Tatum, Ashanti, Octavia Spencer
WHEN it came out: 2005
HOW come you haven’t heard of (or just seen) it: This film was on my radar because I’m a huge nerd and I knew it was written by the creator of One Tree Hill and had the same producers. At the time of its release it had a relatively no-name cast, with only Samuel L. Jackson headlining, as Channing Tatum and Octavia Spencer had starred in this before they became household names. Unless you’re a devout Channing Tatum or basketball fan this one easily could have slipped by you.
WHY you need to watch it–immediately!
- It’s a quintessential inspiring sports film based on a true story, but it’s not just all about sports. It focuses on the power of education, hard work, determination and personal ethics.
- Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of Coach Ken Carter is wonderful! He displays Carter’s courage and his badass, brave and bold moves in all the right ways.
- It’s not your typical or predictable sports film. It’s a bit gritty, honest and even heartbreaking at times, yet still triumphantly powerful.
- If you’re a One Tree Hill fan (we’re best friends!) there are several elements you will appreciate. You can expect some good writing from creator/writer Mark Schwahn, familiar faces, Antwon ‘Skills’ Taylor as Worm and Texas Battle as Maddux, a familiar storyline circa Season 1 and a familiar quote:
- Epic quote moment: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…”