By Rich Tarantino
Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot, a new documentary produced and directed by founding Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, is a sure slam dunk, an earth shattering alley-oop filled with explosive excitement and entertainment. The film features eight of the country’s top high school basketball players as they prepare to show off there skills in the inaugural “Elite 24 Hoops Classic.”
The forum for this unprecedented event is Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park, which is considered by many to be the Mecca of all outdoor basketball courts. Yauch’s unique touch of movie making is brilliantly on display throughout the hour-and-a-half-long documentary. Filmed in 2006, before all the sneaker deals, the rigors of college, and the greener pastures of the NBA, 24 high school stars share one common goal on a cold September afternoon: playing basketball the way it was meant to be played. Among those that were featured are top college standouts Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Love and “Be Easy” Michael Beasley, who is one of this year’s projected number one picks in the NBA Draft.
Yauch does a fine job of capturing the heart and soul of the life experience that these young gentlemen share with each other and also with there families and friends. You quickly learn about the majestic lore of Rucker Park’s glory days and will be fascinated and entertained by Bobbito Garcia aka Kool Bob Love who works the crowd as the movie’s unofficial narrator. Nicknames are earned on the court, while accolades off the court go out to Yauch for choosing a fine musical score to compliment the fast-paced action. It’s a mix tape of jazz, hip hop and dope beats that fully conjures up the visual artistry of these very fine young and talented hoopsters.
The film opens June 27th in select cities.