I didn't really know what to expect going into this film. As an LMU alumnus I figured the film would be centered around the story of Hank Gathers. Everything surrounding LMU Basketball is about Hank Gathers and his great/tragic story, so I just assumed this was going to be a documentary on him. I was wrong. The film followed the path of Head Coach Paul Westhead and his journey through coaching various teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and the LMU Lions. This documentary was great and I cannot wait to see it again!
Not knowing much about Paul Westhead, except for hearing stories about "The System", overall the film gave me a great impression of who Westhead was not only as a basketball coach but as a person as well. I learned a ton from this film about Westhead's coaching strategy and how he was able to bring a team so far by using a playing "system" that most people thought was nuts and wouldn't work.
The part of the film that told the story of Hank Gathers was great. Most stories I've heard or seen on TV don't get as in depth as this film did. I truly felt the emotion when he passed away in this film. I don't normally feel emotional when watching films, but this film almost made me cry. I think the fact that I was sitting in Gersten Pavilion, the very place where Hank died, watching it all unfold was what got me. Although I didn't go to LMU in 1990, the film made me feel as though I did.
I felt the best part of this film was when the film picked up after tell about Hank Gathers' death. The LMU Basketball team started winning and the film really pumped me up. It made me wish that next years basketball season was already here. To be able to watch a team like the '89-'90 LMU basketball team play is truly a gift. This team averaged 120 point per game and scored 181 in one of those games. It was very fun to see the old footage of the games with Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers.
I highly recommend watching this ESPN 30 by 30 film. Not only as an LMU Alumnus and LMU Basketball fan, but as a sports fan in general, this is truly one great sports documentary.
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