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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
The photo shown at the end of the movie is a photo of the real 1965-66 Texas Western team, rather than of the actors playing those parts in the film. See more »
During the game against Kansas, the announcer states that the winner of the game will advance to the national championship, when in fact the winner advanced to play Utah in the national semifinal. See more »
Coach Don Haskins:
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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