40 years ago, Don Haskins went on the recruiting trail to find the best talent in the land, black or white. 7 blacks and 5 whites made up the legendary 1965-66 Texas Western Miners. They were mocked and ridiculed for their showboating and flaunting of black players on the court. Yet, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, Haskins and his Miners came together as a team united to reach the National Championship game against powerhouse Kentucky. Written by
Washington Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich was offered a part in the movie, but had to turn it down due to schedule conflicts. See more »
In several action shots, the actor playing Willie Cager wears a "01" jersey. In college basketball, 01 is not a regulation number. See more »
Coach Don Haskins:
[while recruiting Orsten Artis]
Brother, without a little work I don't think you can get past an old-timer like me.
Get past you... I will go past you, through you, over you, under you, around you. As a matter of fact I will spin you like a top, twist you in a pretzel, eat your lunch, steal your girl and kick your dog at the same time... pshh, get past you.
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During the credits, an inset shows several of the actual people involved (Don Haskins, David Lattin, Pat Riley, Orsten Artis, Willie Worsley, Harry Flournoy, and Nevil Shed) commenting about the championship game and its implications. Video of that game is also shown. See more »
The true story of the Texas Western University Miners (now called the University of Texas at El Paso) who defied all odds in 1966 by being the first NCAA basketball team to start five African-American players (led by Derek Luke of "Antwone Fisher" and Mehchad Brooks of "Desperate Housewives" fame) and ultimately winning the national championship. New coach Don Haskins (played superbly by Josh Lucas, one of the most under-rated actors in film right now) has trouble recruiting when he first arrives, but finds players in places like Detroit and Brooklyn. In the civil rights torn south though, getting African-American ball players was highly controversial and even potentially dangerous. It ends up being fitting that the team would meet up with Adolph Rupp (impressive transformation as usual for Jon Voight) and his University of Kentucky Wildcats for the championship that year as UK was one of the last major colleges to integrate its basketball team. Socially important story and highly educational for youngsters who may not be familiar with the importance of this stage in contemporary U.S. and sports history. Great sequences and styles in the tradition of sports classics like "Hoosiers", "Remember the Titans" and "Friday Night Lights". 5 stars out of 5.
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