"The inspiring true story of the underdog Texas Western basketball team, with history's first all African American starting lineup of players, who took the country by storm, surprisingly winning the 1966 NCAA tournament title. Josh Lucas stars as Hall of Famer Don Haskins, the passionately dedicated college basketball coach that changed the history of basketball with his team's victory in this time of innocence. " http://movies.yahoo.com
NOTE: A simple little spoiler for a simple little movie...This Spoiler was sent in by BigBear.
This is a story about a small Texas college, Texas Western, it's coach, Don Haskins, and how it became the first college to use an all African American starting line-up and win the 1966 NCAA Championship for Division 1 schools.
The essentially fish out of water story is touching and funny as you watch the players experience for the first time some one who really helps them and appreciates them for their talents but also reigns them in to use discipline instead of showboating to accomplish their goal.
The school is so poor the coach and his family live at the dorms and eat at the cafeteria. Some of the existing players have never been farther than 20 miles from their school in El Paso....and in 1966 El Paso was a LONG way from anywhere. Haskins recruits African American players from the big cities and essentially the first half of the movie is all the players trying to adjust to their new surroundings. Never having had Spanish food before the players are offered Nachos, Tacos and Burritos in the cafeteria. They all want Hot Dogos...Do you have any Hot Dogos??
The second act is training and the beginning games which with their existing white players win one after the other. The Booster Club frowns on the black players but loves to win and the players get threatened and the coach gets nasty letters mailed to his residence. In one troubling scene a player gets beat up in a diner bathroom and his head shoved in a toilet. This makes the entire team, white and black, come closer together and start a roll of undefeated games.
The third act is the decision to use all black players for the final championship game against Kentucky and how the white players agreed for the good of the team and to show the rest of the world how good the black kids at Texas Western really are.
The final game was well done with the players introduced including Pat Riley and the game ensues with a struggle with the lead going both ways. The camera shots were very dramatic for a movie of this caliber and the action was frozen, then panned around the player , ala, Matrix, and into slam dunks...which were relatively unknown then.
Texas Western wins and the credits roll....but don't leave because the best part of the movie is here.....It tells you what happened to all the players of the Texas team and has interviews with Pat Riley, Haskins and Kentucky coach Rupp (played by Jon Voight in unrecognizable makeup)
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