In 1927 Indianapolis, the Ku Klux Klan opened the all-black Crispus Attucks High School with the intention of keeping black children out of allegedly superior white schools. The plan backfired, and Attucks became one of the premier schools in the entire country. By the 1950s, it was also home to one of the greatest basketball teams in the country, led by future immortal Oscar Robertson. Several Attucks Tigers, all spry and thoughtful 50 years on, are on hand here to retrace old footsteps on the hardwood and claim their place in history, but Betsy Blankenbaker’s doc
doesn’t possess the kinetic charge of the tale itself; it’s too reliant on talking heads and faded photos. Cheer feels amateurish for a generation raised on sports films. Shoulda been a slam-dunk too.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2007