Synopsis by Mark Deming
Founded in part by Amadou Gallo Fall, who works in scouting and international affairs for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, the Seeds Academy is an unusual school in Senegal that recruits students based on both their academic abilities and their athletic skills. Along with providing a quality education, the school helps students find basketball scholarships at American schools, and successful graduates help other Seeds students use their talents to better their communities and earn a more promising future. Filmmaker Anne Buford offers a look into life at the Seeds Academy and its students in the documentary Elevate, as four young men from rural Senegal -- Assane, Aziz, Byago and Dethie -- leave their homes and make their way to the United States, where they must not only excel in school and on the basketball court in pursuit of a career in pro ball, but serve as unofficial ambassadors from Western Africa, countering the many negative stereotypes held against their people and their homeland. Elevate received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.
academy, athlete, basketball, Muslim, NBA (National Basketball Association), prep-school, Senegal, stereotype, student