Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters Film Screening Celebrates the Past, Present, and Future Impact of Basketball in Africa

Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters Film Screening Celebrates the Past, Present, and Future Impact of Basketball in Africa

Hoops Africa movie trailer logo.

This past October the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) and the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presented a free screening of Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters, a collection of stories that celebrates the past, present, and future of basketball in Africa, with an emphasis on how the sport has impacted society and development on the continent. “Ubuntu,” noted Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) faculty member and CWP-Fairfield Director Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, “is the Ngoni Bantu word for community and togetherness. It is a philosophy for thinking about the importance of humanity and how we might better work together.”

The event was created in collaboration with the Saugatuck StoryFest, a literary celebration that brought 80 professional writers to southern Connecticut, including Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Libba Bray, Ibi Zoboi, Robin Benway, Ashley Woodfolk, Gayle Foreman, and Rose Brock, PhD. CWP-Fairfield initiated a special evening for sports stories that included the film and a community event for teachers, K-12 students, community organizers, and University colleagues.

Following the screening, William King, GSEAP Class of 2016 graduate and teacher at Bridgeport’s Bassick High School, monitored a Q&A panel discussion that featured Men’s Basketball Head Coach Sydney Johnson; the film’s producer, Taylor Sharp; founder and executive director of Hoops 4 Hope, Mark Crandall, and GSEAP Class of 2016 graduate Jessica Baldizon; a Cesar Batalla School teacher and leader within CWP-Fairfield .

“In 2014, I set out to create literacy opportunities for immigrant and refugee youth,” stated Dr. Crandall. “Following Skills 4 Life curriculum offered by Hoops 4 Hope, Ubuntu Academy, a literacy opportunity for English language learners, was started.” Each summer CWP-Fairfield hosts hundreds of young writers in literacy programs and teachers in writing institutes where Ubuntu has been central. This past summer undergraduates Aidas Kavaliauskas and Vilia Baumilas traveled to Zimbabwe Africa to work with the Hoops 4 Hope program.

Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters documents the dreams of a young Zimbabwean player and honors the African NBA legends who paved the way before him. Centering on basketball nonprofit Hoops 4 Hope in South Africa and Zimbabwe, the documentary uncovers the role that 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.

“Ubuntu helps me to realize how numerous communities influence all of us,” said Dr. Crandall. “The more communities are united, the stronger they become.”

Approximately 500 people viewed the screening and there is already interest in hosting additional screenings in the future.

Tags:  GSEAP

Last modified: 12-11-18 4:10 PM


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