IMDb > Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008)
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot
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Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Gunnin' for That #1 Spot -- The late frontman for the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, directs this exciting doc about talented high schoolers in Harlem who are being groomed for the NBA.
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot -- This is the theatrical trailer for Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, directed by Adam Yauch.
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot -- Clip: Ice Water
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot -- Eight of the U.S.'s top high school basketball players compete in the first "Elite 24" tournament at Rucker Park.
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot -- Clip: Lance Stephenson


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Release Date:
10 October 2008 (UK) See more »
Eight of the U.S.'s top high school basketball players compete in the first "Elite 24" tournament at Rucker Park. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(4 articles)
Adam Yauch on "Gunnin' For That #1 Spot"
 (From IFC. 27 June 2008, 9:08 AM, PDT)

Rockin' The Reel: Musicians Turned Moviemakers
 (From IFC. 27 June 2008, 8:49 AM, PDT)

Gunnin' For That 1 Spot
 (From The AV Club. 26 June 2008, 2:02 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Gunnin' for that #1 Spot Movie Review from The Massie Twins See more (6 total) »


Jerryd Bayless ... Himself
Michael Beasley ... Himself
Tyreke Evans ... Himself
Bobbito Garcia ... Unofficial MC / Narrator
Donte Greene ... Himself
Brandon Jennings ... Himself
Jason Kidd ... Himself
Kevin Love ... Himself
Kyle Singler ... Himself
Lance Stephenson ... Himself

Directed by
Adam Yauch 
Produced by
Terrence Chin .... associate producer
Jon Doran .... producer
Jim Kaufman .... producer
Chris Rivers .... associate producer
Arthur Roses .... associate producer
Adam Yauch .... producer
Cinematography by
Chris Ekstein 
Film Editing by
Neal Usatin 
Sound Department
Mike Guarino .... sound mixer
Paul Hsu .... sound re-recording mixer
Matt Israel .... sound mixer
John Sember .... sound mixer
Jeffrey Stern .... dialogue editor
Andy Theiss .... sound recordist
Jon Weiner .... additional engineering
Allan Zaleski .... sound effects editor
Visual Effects by
Remi Gletsos .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Scipio Africano .... camera operator
Vanya Edwards .... camera operator
Chris Ekstein .... camera operator
Johnny North .... camera operator
Matt Porwoll .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Remi Gletsos .... assistant editor
Julian Ong .... assistant editor
Music Department
Brian Godshall .... music clearances
Other crew
David Magdael .... publicist

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Rated PG-13 for language
USA:90 min


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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Gunnin' for that #1 Spot Movie Review from The Massie Twins, 26 June 2008
Author: GoneWithTheTwins from

An outstanding soundtrack that seems to magically enhance every single scene resonates throughout Adam Yauch's latest documentary exploration: Gunnin' for That #1 Spot. Following the formula for typical documentaries, Yauch examines eight high school basketballers vying for recognition, college scholarships and attention from the NBA. But while a few unique camera tricks are used to enhance the rudimentary questioning of family and friends, Gunnin's #1 nemesis is the same predicament far too many documentaries face: the subject matter. Highly appealing to those interested in the topic, the film never breaks into total entertainment for those not enmeshed in the frenzy and corrival nature of an elite game at Rucker Park.

Eight high school kids, including Jarryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler and Tyreke Evans, are gearing up for an invitation to one of the most prestigious basketball events in the nation. The Elite 24 pits the top talents all around the U.S. against each other in a competitive game of basketball at the famed Rucker Park. Where Reebok, Adidas, and Nike have their own camps to harvest the best young basketball talent, The Elite 24 doesn't separate players based on their shoes. It is an all-out battle between the best of the best in high school basketball.

Adam Yauch from Beastie Boys fame directs Gunnin' for That #1 Spot with a standard documentarist feel for material. From the generic opening title sequence with painfully low-budget graphics, to the commonplace hand-held camera-work, there really isn't anything technically outlandish to witness. Yauch uses a fisheye lens for visual flair in an impressive aerial shot above New York, but then proceeds to overkill the idea by utilizing it for every other subsequent shot.

The most exciting moments, including the shattering of a backboard at a high school game, are home video footage from the bleachers, and are unfortunately incredibly grainy. While more of these exhilarating moments would have been gladly welcomed, the low quality of such archives detracts from truly focusing on the amazing talents of these young men.

The most impressive aspect of Gunnin' for That #1 Spot is the soundtrack. Blazing hip-hop, smooth jazz, break beats and heavy rhythmic clips permeate the documentary and manage to make each skilled maneuver just that much more awe-inspiring. But like so many documentaries, Gunnin' suffers from the fact that its subject matter appeals to a very distinct group, and doesn't have the power to transcend to other demographics. With the inspiring notion that these kids are as young as 15 years old, the hilarious nicknames, the brightly colored shoes, overbearing agents, questionably experienced professional analysts, pressures of the media and an abrupt conclusion, Gunnin' for That #1 Spot is enlightening and entertaining, but tragically too narrow.

- Mike Massie

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