New Castle News

Tim Kolodziej

July 12, 2012

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



But even though James is the unquestioned frontman of the group, his teammates get plenty of love in the documentary as well.

•There’s Travis, who transferred in as a sophomore to make an already terrific team a juggernaut. He opens up about his anger issues and the difficult time he had as an outsider trying to fit in with “the clique.”

•Cotton, a football star who would go on to play for Ohio State, reflects on trying to outgrow his clumsiness and become a quality role player on the court.

•Coach Dru, “a football guy” drawn to basketball by his son’s passion, shares how he learned hoops by reading books and watching coaching tapes. We also get a feel for the faith in God that motivates his mentoring of the young men, and how he was forced to scale the treacherous tight rope between dad and coach when it came to working with his own son, Little Dru.

•And speaking of Little Dru, he stars in one of the film's most rousing scenes. Even though opponents teased that he was the team’s mascot, we get to relive the night when the tiny, soft-spoken guard drilled seven straight 3-pointers as a freshman to lead his team to its first state title victory.


As a parent and coach, I was drawn to the elder Joyce, whose prayerful and wise approach to guiding young men offered a stark contrast to the playful and boisterous team.

He considers himself more of a steward than coach, and proves that you don’t always have to shout to break through the noise.

In a pivotal moment, he shares a valuable lesson he learned through the pain of dropping the state title game to a squad they dominated earlier in the season. One writer quipped about the championship game: “When his team needed him the most, Joyce dropped the ball.”


“I got caught up in the winning,” Joyce laments. “It helped me to realize why I got into coaching. It’s to build young men, not just win games. It’ll always be about more than basketball.”

Chances are, you’ll get caught up in the winning, the no-look passes and spectacular dunks, too. But I’ll be willing to bet you’ll appreciate the compelling personal stories and heartfelt moments even more.

As a sports story, “More Than a Game” scores.

But as an inspiring study of the human experience, it soars.

Maybe even higher than LeBron.



Watch the trailer for ‘More than a Game.’ Comcast subscribers can find it on demand

in the M section of movies.


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Tim Kolodziej