New Castle News

Tim Kolodziej

July 12, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: Why ‘More Than a Game’ is more than a sports movie

NEW CASTLE — I’ve seen it a couple of times now, and I still can’t put my finger on why I find it so compelling.

I mean, it’s more than dreaming big.

It’s more than winning titles.

It’s more than Willie, Romeo, “Little Dru” and Sian.

It’s more than a working father of four becoming a successful high school basketball coach later in life.

It’s even more than LeBron James, the NBA’s reigning MVP and champion, who is arguably the best basketball player on the planet today.

It’s “More than a Game,” for sure.

And that’s more than an apt title for a documentary that captures the spirit and soul of a band of brothers who just happened to become kings of the court.

"More Than A Game" is a fascinating documentary that focuses on five young basketball players — LeBron James, Dru Joyce III, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton, Willie McGee — and their coach, Dru Joyce II.

The boys grew up near each other in Akron, Ohio, and the film offers an intimate look into their lives from age 10 through graduation day at St. Vincent-St. Mary High.

A VIRTUAL SCRAPBOOK

What if you could return to your childhood days and select the key moments — cheers, fears, tears, warts and all  — that shaped your life as you know it today?

It appears that’s what director Kristopher Belman was shooting for when he gained unparalleled access to the “Fab Five” while he was still a film student. It was the group’s final season together after winning Ohio state titles in two of the previous three years, and the goal for their senior year was much larger — capture a national title.

Belman’s goal was even more ambitious — explore how boyhood buddies grow up together and eventually coalesce into a team.

We learn that it takes more than talent. It takes more than hard work. It takes more than expert coaching.

In the end, it’s mostly about developing deep, enduring relationships.

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Tim Kolodziej