The Heart Of The Game review

“Sink your teeth in their necks! Draw blood!” He may just be the coach of a girl’s basketball team from Seattle, but avuncular professor Bill Resler has a neat line in motivational technique. Filmed over seven years, Ward Serrill’s engrossing documentary shows how his eclectic methods turned the Roosevelt Roughriders into a lean, mean, dribbling machine – albeit one that dissolves into tears whenever fate turns against them. “That’s what I live for,” grins one teen from behind her braces. “The hunt, the kill, the fight!” The real battle, though, comes in the latter stages as Resler struggles to have his star player reinstated after she drops out of school to have a baby. You don’t need a scoreboard to guess the outcome of that double-header, making it easy to dismiss Serrill’s pic as Hoop Dreams with a sports bra. Give it a shot, however, and you’ll be bouncing all the way home.

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