Gunnin' for That #1 Spot

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.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 418
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Movie Info

On the corner of 155th and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem lies Rucker Park. By appearances, the concrete pavement, anchored on one side by its run down slab bleachers, is no different than any other basketball court in the city, but this is the place where nicknames are indelibly branded, and legends are born. On Sept. 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out on this court, that once saw the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Dr. J to compete in the first annual "Elite 24" all-star game. "Gunnin' for That #1 Spot" follows eight of these players as they prepare to showcase their skills at the most legendary playground in the world.

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Critic Reviews for Gunnin' for That #1 Spot

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (19)

  • To concentrate on the film you have to be a basketball fan, or just a basket case.

    Oct 10, 2008 | Rating: 1/5
  • This is just a dull promotional video.

    Oct 10, 2008 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The slow-motion footage of these athletes showing off their macho skills is generously underpinned by rumbling hip-hop. Great nightclub wallpaper.

    Oct 10, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A spunky, impassioned and resourceful doc on the cutthroat world of US college basketball made for a pittance by Adam Yauch.

    Oct 10, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • In the opening section of the film, we get to know them through interviews, game footage and scenes of family life. It's here where the film shines, giving us a glimpse into what it's like for young athletes being groomed for the NBA.

    Jul 11, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a fly-on-the-wall look at eight prodigiously talented kids hooking up to play ball in the big city, and as such, it's a great deal of fun.

    Jul 11, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gunnin' for That #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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