Out of Seattle “The Heart of the Game”

Updated: June 17, 2006



There is an Endless Cavalcade

of Sports movies

produced in Hollywood

and Beyond

Many are Good

Few get the Attention

they Deserve

Most Disappear

in a matter of days

at most weeks

( Glory Road a recent example )

One great American city has produced the most recent. Not only about girl’s basketball as played in Seattle, Washington., but produced, directed and filmed by an Emerald City video artist Ward Serrill.

So many of these sports film’s inspire because they are like watching a religious experience. Which they are for all practical purposes here in our 21st century. Stories of saints and sinners, healers, zealots, preachers. too.

Then there is the Intensity of sports contests very similar to a religious revival session with a preacher that sends the congregation practically into the Promised Land with his unbridled rhetoric that call the Passions of our Inner Selves.

Here in Seattle

We experience the story of a motivated no driven part time high school basketball coach William M. Resler, whose day job is as a lecturer in accounting, but who gets it on, when faced with a group of teenage girls in an obscure high school, Roosevelt High, who is determined, no matter how long it takes, to turn them into State Champions, a truly daunting task. Which he Relishes.

Resler has the Passion

of a True Believer and

nothing will Stop


This is a story for the Box because while the teams Resler coaches over a period of 7 years as documented in the film are Black & White, the designated Star of the Film is African American Darnellia Russell. Russell playing on a mostly white team is the outstanding player who takes the school to the State Finals.

Since the story either Succeeds or Fails

as a movie not a live experience

here are portions of reviews

compliments of


Chicago Tribune

“For seven years filmmaker Ward Serrill tracked the ups and downs of a particular Seattle high school girls’ basketball team. Crucially, though, he had the personalities to dramatize, without cant or false valor, the team’s ever-shifting dynamics. Don’t let the PG-13 rating mislead you. If you or any kid over the age of 10 has even a half-interest in the definition of the word “teamwork,” as well as the words “real-life suspense,” this is the movie.”

USA Today

“A documentary about the ups and downs of a Seattle girls high school basketball team and a portrait of one of the most dedicated coaches ever seen on film, Game is exhilarating, dynamic and upbeat, yet still manages to deal with serious life issues. It captures an authentic feel-good spirit and inspirational message that most Hollywood movies barely approximate. Think Hoop Dreams meets Murderball. ”

Boston Globe

” Attention, teenage athletes and the families who love them: Drop your cleats and proceed directly to the Kendall Square Cinema, where the girls high school basketball documentary “The Heart of the Game” is unspooling. Yes, guys too. Fictional Hollywood sports movies huff and puff to achieve what this modest reality film does without breaking a sweat: It’s a wrenching, ennobling essay on teamwork and the hard struggle to change one’s life.”

Washington Post

” The chronicle of a charismatic first-time basketball coach who takes a girls’ high school team from rag-tag obscurity to the state championships, the documentary “The Heart of the Game” combines nonstop action with an absorbing story to become a classic on par with “Hoosiers” and “Hoop Dreams” — with the best of “He Got Game” and “Glory Road” thrown in for good measure.”

San Francisco Chronicle

” Serrill portrays the toughness of the girls to show how much more fun sports can be when they’re played for the love of the game. There’s also a lot of humor, much of it initiated by Resler, a tax professor whose students once shellacked his wall with the pages from the tax code as a joke …… It’s also worth noting that the movie dispels any notions that girls basketball is inherently boring, displaying the better passing and strategic elements that in some ways make the women’s game superior. The Chronicle’s Jon Carroll has been telling you this for years, but it’s nice to see proof on a 60-foot-wide screen. ”

Got the Message

GO see this Movie

as difficult as it will be

to find before it

Disappears from

Big Screens and

Thank God for


” The Heart of the Game ”

deserves to Live on.

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net