“Hoop Dreams” — Comcast SportsNet premiere to air Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 PM CT
“Hoop Dreams” stars William Gates and Arthur Agee to make special guest appearance on CSN’s “SportsTalk Live” this Friday, March 4 at 5:00 PM CT
Chicago, IL (March 2, 2016) – For the first time in network history, Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air one of the finest documentaries — of any genre — in film history with the network premiere of Hoop Dreams, the unforgettable 1994 Sundance Film Festival “Audience Award” masterpiece about two Chicago teenagers whose hopeful futures, and the futures of their families, rest solely on the progressive advancement of their special athletic talents. Comcast SportsNet will premiere Hoop Dreams to its viewers on Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 PM CT with additional re-airs taking place on March 13 at 3:30 PM, March 15 at 7:00 PM, and March 18 at 9:00 AM (3:30 PM re-air this day on CSN+).
Named the #1 “Most Underrated Sports Film Ever” in a recent CSNChicago.com feature story, Hoop Dreams expertly captures and details the daily life (over the course of five-plus years no less) of two teenagers from Chicago’s inner city — William Gates and Arthur Agee — who have the grandest aspirations of one day playing in the NBA, only to see the harsh realities of their personal lives ultimately change the course of their once hopeful future. Note additional excerpts from the Hoop Dreams synopsis via CSNChicago.com’s “Top 20 Most Underrated Films…Ever” feature:
“Hoops Dreams” director Steve James, along with co-producers Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx, take viewers to the playgrounds of some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, where a young Gates and Agee are first discovered and recruited to play high school basketball in the predominantly white Chicago western suburb of Westchester, IL (St. Joseph H.S.). Gates, who was raised in the projects of Cabrini-Green, and Agee, from the West Garfield Park neighborhood, would travel 90+ minutes a day via public transportation just to get to St. Joseph H.S., where these two freshmen quickly learned more about race relations and socio-economic differences than about motion offenses or zone defenses.
What truly makes “Hoop Dreams” exceptional is that it’s more about life, love, relationships, and family, than about basketball. Audiences are taken on a journey where the talents of Gates and Agee are a part of a much broader canvas than just a playground or court.
It’s a fascinating look at how the burden of growing up in poverty, along with having natural athletic talent, can affect the lives of not only two young men, but also the lives of those who love them.
This unpredictable, shocking, joyous, gut-wrenching, and inspirational film was and still remains a favorite of many critics, but it did not receive any love from the Oscars voting committee when it came out in 1994, as it didn’t even get nominated in the “Best Documentary” category. Quite a shame. If you haven’t seen “Hoop Dreams” yet, you should make it a priority. It’s a real-life, eye-opening sports film experience that has no rival.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: In advance of Sunday night’s network premiere of Hoop Dreams, the two stars of the film (William Gates & Arthur Agee) will be making a very special guest appearance on SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado on Friday, March 4 at 5:00 PM CT. Gates & Agee will revisit the time period of their lives (nearly 30 years ago) when Hoop Dreams was filmed, along with providing candid discussion about their lives today and how the recruiting process for inner-city talent has evolved over time.