DRAMATIC 2010-11 BASKETBALL SEASON OF
NEW JERSEY POWERHOUSE ST. PATRICK HIGH SCHOOL
WHEN THE DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS OCT. 25, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
High school basketball is the last pure platform of the sport. Where the NBA and even college ball are “just a business,” high school basketball is played for school, community, family, friends and love of the game.
Directed by Marc Levin (the 1998 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Slam”), PRAYER FOR A PERFECT SEASON is a gripping account of the 2010-11 boys’ basketball season at St. Patrick High School, located in a hardscrabble neighborhood of Elizabeth, NJ. This feature-length documentary chronicles the extraordinary effort of coach Kevin Boyle and his players, whose journey ends in a winner-take-all showdown for the mythical national championship with archrival St. Anthony of Jersey City, when it debuts TUESDAY, OCT. 25 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Oct. 25 (5:30 a.m.), 28 (11:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m.) and 30 (11:00 a.m.), and Nov. 11 (3:00 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT), 19 (4:00 p.m.) and 28 (3:10 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Oct. 26 (9:30 a.m., midnight) and 31 (6:30 p.m.), and Nov. 6 (8:30 a.m.), 14 (9:00 a.m., midnight), 23 (10:30 p.m.) and 26 (8:00 a.m.)
HBO On Demand availability: Oct. 26-Nov. 21
PRAYER FOR A PERFECT SEASON captures the intersection of two forces – the soaring media interest in the big game, and the decline of Catholic school programs – while illuminating the real-life issues players and coaches confront during the season.
Coached by Kevin Boyle, the St. Patrick Celtics’ 2010-11 team was loaded with talent and plagued by distractions. Star player Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (now a freshman at the University of Kentucky) was one of the nation’s top performers and his elite skills had cast him in an unrelenting spotlight since eighth grade. When Kidd-Gilchrist was just two and a half years old, his father was murdered, and he also lost his uncle at the beginning of his senior year of high school. Complementing Kidd-Gilchrist, senior shooting guard Derrick Gordon (ticketed for Western Kentucky University) must live with his twin brother’s incarceration for aggravated assault.
PRAYER FOR A PERFECT SEASON follows the roller-coaster ride of a team on the brink of history, at a 100-year-old inner-city school with financial challenges, where the journey to the top of the polls is inspiring, but the future is filled with uncertainty. The quest for the perfect season comes down to the March 9 title game, a prime-time match-up on the campus of Rutgers University before an overflow crowd, as St. Patrick’s (26-0) confronts archnemesis St. Anthony (29-0), led by Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr.
Interviewees include: St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle; St. Patrick principal Joe Picaro; St. Patrick athletic director Robert “Red” Migliore; Newark Star-Ledger reporters Steve Politi and Mike Kinney; St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley Sr.; former St. Benedict head coach Danny Hurley; high school sports reporter Mike Quick; St. Patrick director of development Edward Deignan; former St. Patrick assistant principal Sister Dorothy Lichtenberg; Linden High School head coach Phil Colicchio; St. Patrick basketball players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Austin Colbert, Derrick Gordon, Chris Martin and Trevis Wyche; former St. Patrick star Shaheen Holloway; Kevin Boyle’s son, Brendan Boyle; and Gilchrist family members Cindy Richardson, Vincent Richardson and Darrin Kidd.
Marc Levin’s previous HBO credits include “Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags,” the Emmy®-winning “Thug Life in D.C.,” “Protocols of Zion” “Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock” and “Gladiator Days.”
PRAYER FOR A PERFECT SEASON is a Blowback Production in association with Overbrook Entertainment; written & directed by Marc Levin; produced by Karl Hollandt, Ben Selkow and R. Binky Brown; editor, James Lester; director of photography, Daniel B. Levin; original music by Khari Mateen; narrator, Bobby Cannavale. For Overbrook Entertainment: executive producer, James Lassiter. For HBO Sports: executive producer, Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Joe Lavine.