CSN to air 1994 Chicago-based documentary about life, love and basketball

CSN to air 1994 Chicago-based documentary about life, love and basketball

“Hoop Dreams” -- Comcast SportsNet premiere to air Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 PM CT

“Hoop Dreams” star Arthur Agee to make special guest appearance on CSN’s “SportsTalk Live” this Friday, March 4 at 5:00 PM CT

Chicago, IL (March 2, 2016) – For the first time in network history, Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air one of the finest documentaries -- of any genre -- in film history with the network premiere of Hoop Dreams, the unforgettable 1994 Sundance Film Festival “Audience Award” masterpiece about two Chicago teenagers whose hopeful futures, and the futures of their families, rest solely on the progressive advancement of their special athletic talents.  Comcast SportsNet will premiere Hoop Dreams to its viewers on Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 PM CT with additional re-airs taking place on March 13 at 3:30 PM, March 15 at 7:00 PM, and March 18 at 9:00 AM (3:30 PM re-air this day on CSN+).

Named the #1 "Most Underrated Sports Film Ever"  in a recent CSNChicago.com feature story, Hoop Dreams expertly captures and details the daily life (over the course of five-plus years no less) of two teenagers from Chicago’s inner city -- William Gates and Arthur Agee -- who have the grandest aspirations of one day playing in the NBA, only to see the harsh realities of their personal lives ultimately change the course of their once hopeful future.  Note additional excerpts from the Hoop Dreams synopsis via CSNChicago.com’s “Top 20 Most Underrated Films…Ever” feature:

“Hoops Dreams” director Steve James, along with co-producers Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx, take viewers to the playgrounds of some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, where a young Gates and Agee are first discovered and recruited to play high school basketball in the predominantly white Chicago western suburb of Westchester, IL (St. Joseph H.S.).  Gates, who was raised in the projects of Cabrini-Green, and Agee, from the West Garfield Park neighborhood, would travel 90+ minutes a day via public transportation just to get to St. Joseph H.S., where these two freshmen quickly learned more about race relations and socio-economic differences than about motion offenses or zone defenses.

What truly makes “Hoop Dreams” exceptional is that it’s more about life, love, relationships, and family, than about basketball.  Audiences are taken on a journey where the talents of Gates and Agee are a part of a much broader canvas than just a playground or court.

It’s a fascinating look at how the burden of growing up in poverty, along with having natural athletic talent, can affect the lives of not only two young men, but also the lives of those who love them.

This unpredictable, shocking, joyous, gut-wrenching, and inspirational film was and still remains a favorite of many critics, but it did not receive any love from the Oscars voting committee when it came out in 1994, as it didn’t even get nominated in the “Best Documentary” category.  Quite a shame.  If you haven’t seen “Hoop Dreams” yet, you should make it a priority.  It’s a real-life, eye-opening sports film experience that has no rival.

PROGRAMMING NOTE:  In advance of Sunday night’s network premiere of Hoop Dreams, one of the stars of the film Arthur Agee will be making a very special guest appearance on SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado on Friday, March 4 at 5:00 PM CT.  Agee will revisit the time period of his life (nearly 30 years ago) when Hoop Dreams was filmed, along with providing candid discussion about his life today and how the recruiting process for inner-city talent has evolved over time.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'


Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."