While I tend to disagree, people often say that high school basketball is “the last pure platform of the sport.” Where the NBA and even college ball have become all about business (see: lockout, NCAA Tournament ad dollars), high school hoop is played primarily for the love of the game. (I mean, those were my glory days.) So thankfully this fall HBO is coming out with a documentary, Prayer For A Perfect Season, on New Jersey basketball powerhouse St. Patrick High School (Elizabeth, N.J.) after following them throughout the 2010-11 season.
The feature-length doc chronicles the extraordinary effort of Coach Kevin Boyle and his players – most notably Kentucky freshman Michael Gilchrist and Western Kentucky freshman Derrick Gordon – whose journey ends in a winner-take-all showdown for the mythical national championship against arch-rival St. Anthony High School of Jersey City. Capturing the intersection of two forces – the soaring media interest in the big game, and the decline of Catholic school programs – Prayer For A Perfect Season illuminates the real-life issues players and coaches confront during the season.
Directed by Marc Levin, Prayer For A Perfect Season premieres Tuesday, October 25th at 9 p.m. EST/PST, exclusively on HBO.
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