Review: “More Than a game” – Quality documentary profiles an athlete’s early years

“Basketball is a vehicle to get you from point A to point B. Use basketball. Don’t let it use you.”  Those are the powerful introductory words said by Coach Dru Joyce II which begins this quality documentary that profiles NBA superstar LeBron James’ meteoric rise to fame and fortune.

A true-life coming of age story about an uncommon friendship amongst a group of students, “More Than a Game” takes audiences on an unforgettable nine-year journey from the playgrounds of Akron, Ohio to a national high school basketball championship.

Before he was an NBA superstar playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, James, a gawky kid was searching for stability after constantly moving with his struggling single mother through several inner-city projects in Ohio and it was stability he found when he became part of a youth basketball team called The Shooting Stars. 

Under the disciplined guidance of Coach Joyce II, a charismatic but inexperienced player’s father, James formed a bond with four other troubled team members; Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee and Romeo Travis. A lifelong bond which is repeatedly tested—both on and off the court as they chase the dream of a national championship initially as 11-year-olds through to high school. The film incorporates home videos, personal photos and footage taken during  James’ final two years of school.

With a series of unforgettable one-on-one interviews and rare news footage, it’s a brilliant and sentimental piece which closely follows the long arduous journey of the quintet and really hits home the importance of having and following ones dream.

“More Than a Game” releases in theatres October 2nd

Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles and can be reached on
Photo 1 – James(center) courtesy of liongate: photo 2 – Fab Five; Cotton, James, Joyce iii, Travis and Mcgee courtesy of liongate: photo 3 – Director Kristopher Belman and Lebron James: photo 4 – Coach Dru Joyce ii courtesy of liongate

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