‘More Than a Game’ a Slam Dunk

Lebron Jame's More Than A GameIs basketball really more than a game?  Is painting more than some brush strokes with color?  What about running?  Is it more than just exercise?  The answer to all these questions is a simple ‘yes.’  As the old saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and so holds true for an individual’s passion.  While playing some pickup ball on an asphalt court might be a simple release for some, it can be a zone of absolute concentration, paradise and flowing adrenaline for others. 

Kristopher Belman is not exactly a household name.  Nevertheless, you may have seen his film that he directed and co-wrote; More Than a Game.  This documentary follows the St. Vincent – St. Mary’s (SVSM) High School basketball team and more specifically, five players, teammates and friends.  Belman’s work is a combination of footage from nationwide tournaments, ESPN coverage, gym practices and intimate one-on-one interviews with SVSM coach Dru Joyce and the five amigos who were the burning embers on a team hungry for the flame of victory. 

From their early beginnings at a rec center on Maple Street in Akron, Ohio to bright lights of a state title match-up, More Than a Game takes a hard look at the reality that these guys went through.  There was no glitz and glamor behind the scenes (well, not until their senior year anyway) and every bit of hype and reward that came their way, was well deserved and earned the old fashioned way.  These lads worked their tails off and had a hunger for the game so fierce that you’d think these kids were sharks on the hardwood.  There was no inheritance, no celebrity tutoring, no expensive summer camp.  It was long hours in the gym and tournament travel consisted of road trips in the coach’s car. 

So who were the players?  Well, I’m not much of a betting man, but I’ll go as far to say that you’ve heard at least one of them before.  There was Dru Joyce III (son of the team’s head coach), Sian Cotton, Romeo Travis, Willie McGee and some kid named LeBron James.  I’m not certain, but I heard this James guy knows a thing or two about putting points on the board today.  With their combined talent, you’d think these guys would steamroll the competition and, yes, quite often that was the case.  But nothing is perfect and like I just mentioned, these guys had to work for everything.  Whether it was a lack of chemistry at times between the five or a humbling loss on the court, LeBron and company overcame and led the way, bringing three state championships in four years to St. Vincent – St. Mary’s. 

The beautiful thing about More Than a Game is that you need not be a basketball fan to appreciate the film.  The message of hard work is universal, as is watching Coach Joyce turn his players from boys into men.  There is a maturation process that takes place right before your eyes while watching this movie and what a brilliant experience it is.  The ‘where are they today’ sequence that the film closes out with will surely provide a smile or two and is icing on an already slam-dunk cake.  

Lebron James' More Than A Game

Lebron James' More Than A Game

More Than A Game Theatrical Poster



1 Response to “‘More Than a Game’ a Slam Dunk”

  1. Brian White

    Sounds like an interesting doc!

    Now let’s hope he brings a championship home to Cleveland this year!