Lacey and I went to the premier of Ballin at the Graveyard. Shot in Albany, its a documentary about pickup basketball and the lives of the players. I am not a fan of the game, so I might not have seen it but for the fact it was co-produced by an acquaintance of mine. That would have been my loss. The basketball story is very entertaining in and of itself, but the back story, which gets equal time, is what makes the film important.
I won’t bother with a synopsis. Better to take it in with beginner’s mind. I will say it made me prouder to live in Albany. We’ve been here seven years and I have said since the beginning that the people make the place great. Until now, I couldn’t easily share with you the special qualities of the folks that call my town home. Now all you have to do is watch the film. That won’t be an easy task until the film gets distribution, but it will. For now locals have all the luck–get to the Spectrum!
The story is much bigger than our town, though. Everyone will be uplifted when they look into the hearts and dreams of these players. Sure they love basketball, but their reasons for loving the game are the same reasons we all love whatever it is we love. Reward for hard work. Family. Community. History. Giving back. Respect. Pride of place. All good and important stuff.
The players spoke after the film. One was initially nervous to have his story aired. We learn things about him that even his family didn’t know (until last night–his mom, wife and son were in the audience). Once the film was done and screened, though, he was relieved. He was happy to have the skeletons out of his closet and he will trust us to judge him by his life as he now lives it. He has nothing to worry about. He is an impressive man. I wanted to tell him I’d be proud to have him as a dad. All of the players, really. Not that I am lacking in that department (my dad is strong and caring), but I am learning that dads are a good thing to have and the film showed me there are benefits to having more than one. There were shout outs to moms, too. A long overdue aside–why don’t I toot my mom’s horn on these pages more often? She deserves the highest praise daily. I’ll work on that, starting now. Thanks for all the love, Mom! I wouldn’t be anywhere without you!
It was all so good. You just have to go!
Have a good weekend.