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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A movie of hope and success in spite of trials and tribulations.

8/10
Author: kayser1 from United States
12 June 2007

A very well done movie on a small budget. The directing by Don Abernathy is excellent and the basketball scenes are both tense and realistic. All the girls in the movie gave top notch performances (as pretty much unknowns). Of course Tony Todd and Debbie Allen were great in their roles. The message of never giving up in spite of the odds and believing in the TEAM and TEAMWORK is a message more urban films should be espousing. All of the actors playing the basketball girls (Shuga, Two-Two, Slick, Capricorn, Kiwi, Boo Baby, et. al.) would seem to have nice careers in front of them as they gain more exposure and experience. Don Abernathy deserves a chance to direct a film with a bigger budget and more experienced actors to really show his stuff. His potential is obvious.

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Great film about striving to achieve one's dreams while facing life's adversaries

9/10
Author: starrfish69 from United States
28 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was an awesome movie. This was better than Coach Carter and that was a great film. I really honestly enjoyed this film for a number of reasons. I like basketball and movies about the sport.

First, the acting was top-notch for a movie that consisted of mostly actors and actresses who have had no prior professional acting jobs. That is, judging from the fact that some of these actors only have Tournament of Dreams listed as the only movie they've ever been in. It's kind of a shame because I would have liked to have seen Shakira Bryant and Keana Jackson book other acting jobs in other movies and TV shows because both these girls played their roles really well. I hate that Two-Two (Shakira Bryant's character) was killed off mid-movie because she was my favorite character in this movie but I understand as her death played a major role in the movie's storyline.

In line of the good acting, I think the director and casting director both went to great length to get the best actors and actresses for the really small budget they had to work with because in my opinion the casting was really good. The Game, Debbie Allen (who I'm a fan of), and Rae'van Larrymore Kelly were nice as cast members for this film and great acting ALMOST (I stress again, ALMOST) takes away from the fact that it's extremely easy to tell--just by watching it--that this is a low-budget indie.

Speaking of the film's budget, I'm glad to now know that this movie was made for $1,500,000 because I've been dying to know that information because also speaking on the quality, I've been also dying to know how such a low-budget indie could afford names like Tony Todd, The Game, and Debbie Allen but couldn't afford a better quality camera. This movie looks like it was shot on some old cheep camcorder. The cinematography is a bit hard to see. This has to be the ONLY thing I did NOT like about the movie, and it now has me thinking that the budget money could have gone to getting a better camera and less on getting known actors. Also, according to the Trivia section, Meagan Good was going to be in this movie but couldn't due to a scheduling conflict. That sucks because I would have loved this film even more if Meagan Good were in it.

Storywise, I found this an intriguing little story about how the school's principal finding it necessary to cut-out the girls' basketball team due to budget cuts and the girls on that team desperately wanting to save it as they (and their new coach) use basketball as an escape from their inner-city life.

To sum up my review, the subject matter was awesome and inspiring. It's also sad that this film doesn't have much publicity as other films that aren't worth watching. As I previously stated, this movie has that indie feel to it that would be hard to ignore if not for the good acting and choice in cast members. Really, from start to finish, you can tell all throughout the movie that it's a low-budget independent movie.

I love this so much that I want to give it a full 10 score but it is losing a point from my vote for its low quality but kudos to the cast and producers.

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A cool movie with great directing!

9/10
Author: orlandoflanagan from United States
7 January 2011

This was a great movie. It is a movie with a good story line that teaches a great lesson. I hope to see a lot more movies from the writer and director of this film. There was a lot of good talent in this movie and The actors did a good job. There is nothing like a movie that has good character, hope and inspiration. I love sports and basketball is my favorite one. If you are a fan of sports you will love this movie. this is one of those movies were you buy the DVD and watch it whenever you feel like your giving up on your dreams. I also think that this movie is a movie that most people can relate to in some shape our form. Hope to see these actors in future films. Its always good to see fresh new good talent. I will be following this director, Don Abernathy is on the rise!

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Inspiring film worth checking out!

8/10
Author: ScottduP from United States
7 January 2011

This film does not have any A-List actors or a huge studio budget, but what is does have is heart & soul. I was quickly drawn into the story and enjoyed the positive vibe of the entire film. In this day & age it is good to see Directors do such positive, inspirational films. I would recommend this to anybody (not just sport enthusiasts). The casting was good as well as all the characters seemed very real & believable.

Maybe some day a studio or TV network pick up on this story line and do a follow up or a spin- off? Food for thought as more and more people these days not only like to be entertained, but also like to be inspired!

If you are looking for big budget, special effects, fanfare, hoopla you won't find it with this film, just a character driven story which will make you think after you finish watching the film.

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I thoroughly Enjoyed It

7/10
Author: RigoObezo from United States
6 January 2011

I enjoyed this film it has several talented Actors in it. Sure most Actors may not be well known but I see bright futures for them. I like the fact that it's realistic and people can relate to what's going on. It's about living your dreams and the sad outcome of peer pressure and unfortunate circumstances. I applaud all those involved for a job well done and all they're hard work and dedication. Speaking from experience I've had the privilege of working with the Director Don Abernathy. He is great to work with and listens to the Actors input and suggestions. He treats everyone with respect and is professional on set. I wish everyone continued success in all your individual aspirations and dreams.

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Pleasantly surprised

Author: Debbie Thame from Saturn
6 January 2011

I just saw this movie on BET. And boy am I impressed. Seriously, for a first time writer director Don Abernathy did an EXCELLENT job. Imagine what this guy could do with a bigger budget. Good Work Mr. Abernathy. I look forward to checking out your next movie. And I hope that happens sooner rather than later. There are too many overlooked talented directors. It's time for someone to invest. It's been a few years since this movie was made, I'm sure the writer has had lots of life experiences that he can share with us and dazzle us with his unique brand of storytelling. And who doesn't love a good basketball movie. Who doesn't love Debbie Allen.

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Director Didn't Do His Homework

1/10
Author: (gamalsmalley@hotmail.com) from United States
16 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really wanted to like this move and with Debbie Allen and a story about basketball I was ready to get my movie groove on! However there where so many major holes in the story and plot that I could not even stomach any of the film at all. I fast forwarded towards the end. During one scene they had the scorers table on the opposite side of the team bench. So how would the players have checked in the game? The Director should have done SOME homework since it was obvious he knew nothing about sports. Then towards the so called climax the team needed to win one more game to get into the playoffs but then they suddenly needed one more game to win the championship. Those types of oversights means the film makers took the audience for granted and wasted our time. The stiff dio and horrific pacing was truly awful and some of the editing was extremely hard on the eyes and even harder on the intellect. City High School teams must always ride home on the bus and a coach would never let one of his players ride home with another player and drive for the first time with a permit???? A smart coach and father would never let his daughter drive home with a newly reformed gang member who has just changed stripes. Even if this is a true story it should never be put on the big or small screen because it is way too stupid. A driving learner must drive with an adult during certain times. Coaches do not stand next to each other during games and talk trash, there is such a thing as a coach's box. Also the scores table separates the two teams. This movie is an insult to basketball and should be banned from any viewing. As for the acting it is hard to tell how bad or good they are because the directing is so extremely poor. Nevertheless making a film is a major task and my hats off to all the particdipants for their efforts. Hope they never give up and continue to follow their dreams and if the filmmakers can create something worthy of praise I will be sure to write a comment that speaks to that. It was a great opportunity but the size of the budget had nothing to do with it at all. The timing, editing, story, casting, shot selections, and homework, homework, homework would have made the difference. Debbie Allen alone got my attention. Seeing a screen filled with beautiful black girls was a treat but they had nothing to run with in this film. When you have 30 year old women playing the part of teenagers you usually run into problems but that didn't seem to be a problem at all, so I guess that was one plus. Make another film and do it right. Peace!

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