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Basketball Stories For This Mad March
March 13, 2020
By Beatrice Alvarez
For us basketball fans, March is normally a very busy month. This year is different, of course, and measures to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus mean one of our favorite sports is essentially on hold. As a result, we are finding other ways to enjoy basketball, starting with these five titles that feature winning teams, investigative reporting, and an interview with a legendary coach. Yes, PBS has basketball for you to watch.
One of the reasons high school and college basketball is a joy to watch is because you see people playing their hearts out on the court. When I tell you this high school team from Winnebago is all heart, it is not an exaggeration. This documentary from NET Nebraska makes you root so hard for the team we get to know them on their journey the state championship.
Basketball, Water and the Lost City of Elbowoods
Prairie Public in Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota went back in time to explore a high school basketball season that ended with no champion team. What followed for the Elbowoods High School team was bigger than basketball. After many of the team's players fought in World War II, they saw how Garrison Dam changed the fate of the team's hometown in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
Class C: The Only Game in Town
The first time I saw this documentary about women's basketball in Montana I thought it was a love letter to rural America, just as much as it is about women's sports. This film is gift to basketball fans from Montana PBS and not just because we get to see another side of an NBA great--looking at you, Phil Jackson.
Pat Summitt: The A-List With Alison Lebovitz
Every conversation about great(est) coaches includes Pat Summitt. She led the University of Tennessee Lady Vols to 1,098 game wins (compared with just 208 losses) over a nearly four-decade career. Summitt was an inspirational leader and this 2010 interview from her hometown station WTCI in Chattanooga, Tennessee is a delight to watch. She talks about supporting players even if they weren't a good team fit, growing up on a dairy farm, and so much more.
Money and March Madness
Not a lot has changed since FRONTLINE first aired this investigative report on the NCAA and how it treats student athletes. The enormous financial success of the basketball tournament every March means huge paychecks for a lot of people, except the players. Hear from people on all sides of this issue: including sitting NCAA President Mark Emmert, former student athletes Joakim Noah and Ed O'Bannon, former sports marketer Sonny Vaccaro and "Blind Side" author Michael Lewis.
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