3 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 113 minutes
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This film has not yet been reviewed. Check back later for the complete review here on Synopsis: Shiprock, New Mexico, is a depressed Navajo community with little to offer a young black teacher from Texas – except a shot at coaching the losing women’s basketball team.
Jerry Richardson takes up the challenge, and after four years, the Lady Chieftains make it to the State Tournament. The community of 6,000 packs a 4,200-seat gym every game. But in the locker room, Assistant Coach Bill Dowty, an older white man, believes Jerry is a perfectionist and overly critical with the players. Jerry suspects Dowty of trying to undermine his authority. Underneath lies the unspoken issue of prejudice. The conflict tears at the players. Even so, the Lady Chieftains make it to the State Finals – for the first time in the school’s history.
The night before the championship game, in a tearful team meeting, Jerry is confronted by the Team Mother, a Navajo home economics teacher. She challenges him to treat the girls with more kindness. The next day, the Lady Chieftains lose by a point in double OT. After the game Jerry apologizes, paving the way for respect and trust. Next season, united as a team, the Lady Chieftains again make it to the finals…

Posted on December 13, 2001 in Reviews by

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