Synopsis by Mark Deming
Bill Resler was a professor at the University of Washington who had possessed a passionate interest in basketball. Resler decided to put his love of the game to work when he heard that Seattle's Roosevelt High School needed a coach for their women's basketball team. Despite having almost no experience as a coach, Resler landed the job, and soon began making a difference with the team, firing his players up with enthusiasm and encouraging them to think of themselves not as girl basketball players, but as athletes. Resler's coaching helped to turn a team that usually sat near the bottom of the rankings into serious contenders for a district championship, and produced at least one star player, point guard Darnella Russell. Russell is a gifted player who hopes she can turn her talent on the court into a college scholarship, since her family can't afford to send her on their own dime, but Russell also has a sharp tongue and a short temper that has earned her a reputation as a disciplinary problem. When Russell becomes pregnant, she finds herself fighting to remain in school, and to hold on to her eligibility to play on the team in the future. The Heart of the Game is a documentary which examines Bill Resler's fight to rebuild the women's basketball program at Roosevelt and Russell's battle to stay in the game. The Heart of the Game earned an enthusiastic reception following its screenings at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.
basketball, behind-the-scenes, coach, high-school, inner-city, life-choices, perseverance, professor, team