At SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, the best and tallest young basketball players from across West Africa are hand-picked to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For these seven-foot-tall sixteen-year-olds, the rewards can be huge. Full scholarships to the top US prep schools will pave the way to college and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level, where the right combination of skill and dedication will not only earn them a great education, but even a shot at the NBA.
Filmed over four years, ELEVATE follows the high-stakes journey of four young men across two continents, documenting the daunting challenges that come with being a stranger in a very foreign place. From mastering English, dating and drivers' ed to navigating the vagaries that come with being a seven-foot-tall Muslim at a Christian high school, ELEVATE challenges the conventional conceptions of Africa, America and athletes while documenting the extraordinary personal journeys of four teens with big hearts, open minds and very tall dreams.
Bonus Feature: Theatrical Trailer
Top Customer Reviews
The movie introduces us to Amadou Gallo Fall, the founder of a unique basketball camp in West Africa that works with promising local talent in the hopes of placing them on a professional career path. The featured players include one who heads off to Lake Forest in Illinois, two that are picked up by South Kent School in Connecticut, and one whose path to America is more circuitous. The guys are just like any other teenaged boys that you're likely to encounter, each wanting to build a better life for their families back home. The challenges include integrating into a new culture, conquering language differences, incorporating their Muslim faith in a largely Christian environment as well as more ordinary pursuits like girls, homework, and loads of basketball practice. The footage in Senegal stands as a striking contrast to what the guys are exposed to in the States.Read more ›
The negatives that I noticed are:
(1.) We don't see or is it discussed what percentage of those who devout themselves to the dream actually succeed. What happens with failure.
(2.) We don't see if the middle men receive compensation that might be either ethical or rules violations.
(3.) We don't see how private high schools in the US take advantage of and make money off exchange students. One example, there's a private school in the Seattle area that circumvents the one year visa rules by longterm, years of high school boarding which then gives those students unhindered access to US universities and afterwards automatic US residency. The school's owners are exceedingly wealthy as a result of what they charge the parents of those financially privileged students.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful movie with a very interesting presentation of how basketball provides many an opportunity that many of us here in America take for grantedPublished on December 19, 2013 by J. Hollinger
Talk about touched, moved and inspired. Amadou Fall is giving back and changing the trajectory of many lives in Senegal by teaching these young men how to be men and using a tool... Read morePublished on April 19, 2013 by mlb