The Connecticut Writing Project &
the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University present:

Hoops Africa | Ubuntu Matters

Sports Literacy and the Power of Community — a Saugatuck Storyfest Event

Documentary Screening and Q&A Panel Discussion
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Kelley Theater at the Quick Center for the Arts
Free and open to the public, but seating is limited so registration is requested

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About the Screening

Please join us for a screening of HOOPS AFRICA: UBUNTU MATTERS, a film that is collection of stories that celebrates the past, present, and future of basketball in Africa, spotlighting the sport’s impact on African society and its development on the continent. From documenting the dreams of a young Zimbabwean player to honoring the NBA legends who paved the way before him, this film journeys through the growth of the game in Africa. Centering on basketball nonprofit Hoops 4 Hope in South Africa and Zimbabwe, this documentary uncovers the role the African philosophy of Ubuntu played in the Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA Championship season and also documents the historic 2015 NBA Africa Game. Featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Adam Silver, Luol Deng, Luc Mbah a Moute, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and many more NBA greats, this documentary shows us all why #UbuntuMatters.

Following the screening there will be a Q&A panel discussion with: Fairfield University’s Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, director of the Connecticut Writing Project and assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP); Men’s Basketball Head Coach Sydney Johnson; the film’s producer Taylor Sharp; and the founder and executive director of Hoops 4 Hope, Mark Crandall.

The screening and Q&A panel are free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

Meet the Q&A Panel

Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhDBryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, is the director of the Connecticut Writing Project and an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP). Dr. Crandall has 18+ years of urban education experience during which he has inspired youth to publish, perform, and educate others through the power of oral and written communication. In 2007, he was offered doctoral fellowship at Syracuse University; his dissertation, “A Responsibility To Speak Out”: Perspectives On Writing From Black African-Born Male Youth With Limited and Interrupted Formal Education," received a doctoral prize for research in 2012. Dr. Crandall publishes and presents on teaching writing to adolescent youth, 21st century literacies, young adult literature, issues in urban education, and working with immigrant and refugee youth. Crandall has served on the Board of Directors for Hoops 4 Hope since 1995.



Sydney JohnsonSydney Johnson became the 12th head coach to oversee the Fairfield University men's basketball program when he was introduced in April, 2011. Johnson joined the Stags program after spending four seasons as the head coach at his alma mater Princeton University. Johnson is the first coach in 40 years to garner four winning seasons in his tenure at the University. During Johnson’s six years at the helm, no MAAC program has more winning seasons than Sydney Johnson except for one (Iona Gaels)



Mark CrandallMark Crandall is the founder and executive director of Hoops 4 Hope. In 1984 at age 15, Crandall traveled to Zimbabwe as a Rotary Exchange student – the trip forever changed the path of his life. In addition to being captain of his high school basketball and soccer teams, he received a BA in sociology from the University of Vermont and went to the School for International Training in Melbourne, Australia. Crandall is currently the director of East Hampton Sports Camp at Sportime in New York. Crandall founded Hoops 4 Hope in 1995 to provide sports, fun, education and opportunity for all young people. He has two daughters Zola and Inez.



Taylor SharpTaylor Sharp resides in North Carolina, where he studied the philosophy and business of sport as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and is the producer of the film Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters. He has a wide variety of experience in the nonprofit, entrepreneurial, and sport industries. His endeavors often focus on how sport both affects and reflects society, and many of his projects originate at the intersection of social impact and sport. Outside of this film, he currently offers nonprofit consulting, video production, and does part-time project work for the NBA. Taylor’s vision for this film stemmed from the relationships and experiences he has amassed over the years throughout the basketball world.


#UbuntuMatters Stories

UBUNTU – is an African notion of unity. The idea that every human is part of a greater whole, that “I AM, BECAUSE WE ARE.” It captures in one word, the combined love of all humanity and the responsibility we have to care for one another.

Learn more about Hoops 4 Hope

Read about summer literacy labs and the Ubuntu Academy through the CWP at Fairfield

Read more about a Community Event @FairfieldU: So Happy To Celebrate Students and Teachers #Ubuntu

Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, Honored for Community Engagement with Connecticut Schools

The Potential of Young Adult Sport's Literature in Teaching Empathy at a Jesuit High School — Jayne Penn

Writing With Ubuntu in Support of Refugee and Immigrant Youth

Watch Michael Harding’s Class of 2018 valedictory speech where he speaks about the meaning of Ubuntu

Community Partners