More Than A Game For Lionsgate

Basketball documentary gets picked up

More Than A Game For Lionsgate

by Helen O'Hara |
Published on

It seems that everyone in America has heard of basketball star LeBron James and his exploits for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But just in case we on this side of the Pond haven't, Lionsgate has picked up worldwide rights to documentary More Than A Game, which followed James - already spotted as an up-and-coming star - during his high school career.

The film focuses on James and his four fellow "starters" on the varsity team of Akron's St Vincent-St Mary High School, who travelled from rundown gym to NBA fame and fortune while trying to stay friends, even though the 6'8" James went on to considerably more fame and fortune than anyone else. It's being pitched, then, as a feelgood story of overcoming adversity. Hopefully they'll squeeze Being Yourself in there somewhere too.

The doc's been in production for years already, a mixture of archival footage and talking heads, and is set to be released next autumn to coincide with Nike's annual campaign around the player's branded shoes. The filmmakers are trying to tie-in that sort of marketing support for the film in a series of deals that are either the next big thing in sports documentaries or a slippery slope - or both.

Fellow Akron native Kristopher Belman directed the film, which he started nine years ago as a thesis project. It screened to wild acclaim at Toronto - let's hope it goes over as well here, given that we're all more familiar with David James than LeBron.

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