Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot

2008, Documentary, 1h 30m

43 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch proves his worth as a director with Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, a fun-filled chronicle of the top high school hoopsters of 2006. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Rucker Park in New York City's Harlem has been host to many legends, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Now, the top high-school basketball players in America will assemble on the same court to compete in the first annual "Elite 24" all-star game, which is seen as a good measure of a player's NBA potential. This documentary trails eight of the teens as -- preparing to become champions -- they demonstrate the required dedication that accompanies a swift rise to greatness.

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Critic Reviews for Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot

Audience Reviews for Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot

  • Aug 12, 2009
    "Gunnin' for That #1 Spot" is a haphazardly constructed documentary centering on the Elite 24 game in 2006, a glorified all-star game featuring the best high school basketball players in the country, held in Rucker Park in Harlem, site of many legendary amateur games in the past. Occasionally, there is a bit of insight from talking heads about the state of high school basketball and what these athletes can expect to experience in upcoming years as they hope to eventually play in the NBA.(For example, Tyreke Evans was drafted by the Sacramento Kings as the fourth pick in the most recent NBA draft.) The dream has not changed in decades, even if agents and shoe companies have become involved with the basketball players when they are much younger. Sadly, there is nothing here about basketball players no longer being able to make the jump directly from high school to the pros. Almost half the documentary is spent on the personal histories of eight of the basketball players, nothing of which is memorable(In other words, there is nothing along the lines of a double amputee supporting her twelve children by working three jobs.), despite their diverse backgrounds. And remember when filming sporting events, keep it simple. Let the athletes do the talking with their play.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2008
    Having just seen Hoop Dreams, this film doesn't compare. I mean it's Hoop Dreams - ultra light, with 10 kids, instead of 2. And the thing is, this film could've been captivating, focusing on how those guys are trying to FIFTH graders to choose a school and a brand of sneakers. But it's in the hands of Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boy, who makes a commendable effort, but doesn't realize the fast-forward and slow-motion camera tricks are really fucking outdated. It's frustrating. Watch the movie expecting it to be about the rucker park game, you'll be all right. Watch the movie expecting anything else, you might ask yourself why you didn't just settle cozying up for another hour and enjoying a good film like Hoop Dreams.
    matt s Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2008
    Pretty cool documentary about some young basketball players trying to show their worth before going into college. Directed by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys.
    James B Super Reviewer

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