Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

January 18, 2005 > Coach Carter

Coach Carter

Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language, teen partying and some drug material

by Susana Nuñez

"Average is just not good enough. Period." Coach Ken Carter stood by this philosophy not only on the court, but also in the classroom. This local Richmond High School coach sought a better life for his players, away from the streets and the crime that plagued Richmond. Although parents and fellow school staff attacked his methods, he refused to give his players a break and in turn made national news in 1999 for benching his entire undefeated basketball team for poor academic performance. Inspired by this controversial and touching true-story, Coach Carter is an uplifting film that will leave moviegoers feeling as accomplished as his team!

Samuel L. Jackson stars as Coach Ken Carter in this inspirational account of a man who became a mentor and a role model for his players. Jackson does the renowned coach justice and his dynamic performance makes for a unique film that stands its own ground against sports accounts such as Remember the Titans and Miracle. The film also gives audiences a chance to see through the eyes of Coach Carter's team and feel their underlying desire to change their lives before it's too late. With the help of their coach, the team gradually captures his message to them; that they are first and foremost students. In a community where parents and teachers have lost hope for their students and children, Coach Carter takes upon the difficult task of demonstrating that with firmness and motivation, anything is possible.

Coaching a team who had in its previous year won only four games and lost 22, Coach Carter had his work cut out for him. His efforts helped create an undefeatable team whose senior players went on to earn four-year athletic scholarships, including his son Damien, who was awarded a full scholarship to West Point Military Academy. Coach Ken Carter was recognized for his accomplishments with the team when he was selected to carry the Olympic Flame on January 19, 2002, as it made its way to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. A film based on the life of a man dedicated to saving his students and players from a life of crime, Coach Carter will definitely serve as an inspiration to all who desire to achieve what seems impossible.

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