Through the Fire
February 10, 2006
On the Big Board
||This marvelous documentary about the life of a high school basketball star focuses upon Sebastian Telfair, but it's older brothers Jamel Thomas and Daniel Turner who shine through as wonderful people
||It's an interesting documentary about a larger-than-life personality.
This ESPN movie will be the first one to see a theatrical release in advance of its television debut. The story centers on Sebastian Telfair, cousin of New York Knicks player Stephon Marbury and brother of Providence College alum Jamel Thomas. From the tender age of nine, Telfair has been one of the best-known basketball players from New York City and has already become one of the hottest prospects out there. As he begins his senior year at Lincoln High School, his friend LeBron James is getting an NBA contract right out of high school and making an unprecedented $90 million sneaker deal.
Although Sebastian has called a press conference to announce that he will attend college upon his graduation from high school, he soon wavers in that decision. He has lived in the public housing projects of Coney Island and spent 18 years in poverty. And when two men are shot in the hallway outside his apartment, Sebastian begins thinking that it would be better to get his family out of that area as quickly as possible. The means for doing so, of course, is making the jump directly from high school to the professional level - a jump that very few players have been able to pull off with great success.
Sebastian plays through his senior year and deals with the monumental pressure of showing his exceptional basketball skills in every outing. He must struggle with the various factions who compete for his attention and loyalty - from sneaker companies to the media to NBA scouts. The film is a candid examination of the phenomenon of poor children who must quickly make the leap from youthful innocence to sudden adulthood and all the responsibility that goes along with it. (Kim Hollis/BOP)