New Documentary 'Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters' Explores The Growth Of Basketball In Africa

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August 28th 2018

In the new film, Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters, a powerful story on the impact of basketball on the continent of Africa is front and center.

Directed and produced by Taylor Sharp and Dan Hedges, Hoops Africa explores a variety of subjects from a young Zimbabwean player intent on fulfilling his dreams of making it to America to play basketball and pursue a higher education.

The official description calls the film “a collection of stories that celebrates the past, present, and future of basketball in Africa, spotlighting the sport’s impact on society and its development on the continent."

The film also devotes ample focus on basketball nonprofit Hoops 4 Hope in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Sharp, a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, met Hedges on a 17-hour flight back from South Africa after volunteering with the basketball Hoops 4 Hope in 2013. After this, they decided that they wanted to return and to tell the story of the sport and the kids that it impacts.

“This story has always been meant to be told. In 2013, after an incredibly powerful three months volunteering with basketball nonprofit Hoops 4 Hope in Zimbabwe, I boarded my South African Airways flight home," said Sharp. "On a chance encounter, I was seated next to Dan Hedges, a documentary filmmaker whom I had never met that also happened to call North Carolina home. After the 16-hour flight, Dan and I made a vow that we would one day return to Africa to bring my stories to life for viewers everywhere, creating a platform to spotlight the influential work that organizations like Hoops 4 Hope provides for so many children every day. Two years later, we journeyed back together to South Africa and Zimbabwe where the idea for this film was born."

Streamlining these topics through the lens of the growth of basketball in Africa, Hoops Africa will also uncover the role the African philosophy of Ubuntu played in the Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA Championship season and also chronicles the historic 2015 NBA Africa Game in Johannesburg.

For those unfamiliar, the concept of “Ubuntu" is an idea from the region of South Africa that means “human-ness" and is a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity. Hoops Africa starts off with an introduction narrated by Hakeem Olajuwon, a Hall of Famer who became the first African basketball player to make it to the NBA. The film also features an appearance from Luc Mbah a Moute, who was the first Basketball Without Borders player to make it to the NBA, as well as the likes of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Brian Scalabrine, Sam Cassell and Luol Deng.

After an initial roll out on NBA TV earlier this year, The documentary is now available for digital download and can be purchased at select stores.




Watch the trailer for the documentary below:


You can also learn more at http://www.hoopsafricafilm.com.

by Jordan Simon on August 28th 2018
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