Anne Buford’s “Elevate” chronicles the lives of four Senegalese basketball players as they’re given the opportunity play basketball and pursue their educations in the United States.
Of the four boys chronicled in the movie, Aziz, Byago, Assane, Dethie, Assane and Dethie attend South Kent School developing as students and basketball players
Assane and Dethie graduate from South Kent and now play at the University of Virginia and Roanoke College respectively.
New York Times reviewer, Andy Webster finds the most moving sub-story in “Elevate” in the life of Amadou Gallo Fall:
“We see these young men struggle with assimilation — mastering English and learning to drive, meeting girls, facing a headmaster hell-bent on sending one to Princeton — and feel their joy on trips home. And we exult when they graduate.
Amadou Gallo Fall, a Senegalese man who, early in life, was discovered by a Peace Corps worker and granted a Stateside basketball scholarship. Mr. Fall, a former scout for the Dallas Mavericks, founded the Seeds Academy [Sports for Education and Economic Development] to nurture his countrymen. His conviction, level gaze and firm eloquence instill pride, drive and determination in his players. Mr. Fall, a coach on the court and in life, is the real champion here.”(NYT)
Elevate was released on a limited basis earlier this month.