HoopDream Team @ Fifteen

The Blind Side and Precious are films giving the viewer a taste of life in a world unto itself, the hood.  The key actors in each came from the at-risk milieu.  Visualize that world for the teenager: drugs, death, disillusionment with life as a constant.  Local heroes live in prison or are working at being admitted to cells of that government-run community of felons and the closest person to a dad is usually the leader of the neighborhood gang. Larger than life are the rappers whose influence may be less than inspiring. 

Then there is the basketball court, the place of dreams and healthy competition where hard work and practice pay off. In those heart pounding moments, making a LeBron or Kobe move elevates a boy's spirit and lights up his life for a fleeting breath, one that disconnects him from the surrounding, threatening environment in which survival is questionable at best. Dreams of greatness suspend the pain and nurture the human spirit.

Now imagine that same boy given a chance to reach beyond the hood, to reach to a world of fame where his ball playing skills combined with his unique personality will give him the key to compete for a part in a movie based on the novel Takin' It Back.  The open casting call in cities across the country will be a TV program titled HoopDream Team. The show will cover the compelling story of the boys who tryout for the movie and it will take us to the final selection. The prize, a role in a movie about teens - ones just like the contestants.

  HoopDream Team Promo Reel  


You got game? You got grades? You got respect?  Then you've got a chance!



Searchin' for 5 Boys to act in the movie based on Takin' It Back

A Documentary Concept and Outline.

© 2014, John A Kuri


The "Hood" comes to Hollywood. From the grit of the street - with its competitive basketball courts in the hood, we meet teenage boys competing for a chance to use their hard earned hoop's skill and street smarts as they tryout for a life changing chance to come to the dream capital of the world, Hollywood.  There they could win a role in a motion picture that tells a story of at-risk teens, just like them.

Both the documentary HoopDream Team and the movie Takin' It Back are being produced with the established cooperation of the National Police Athletics League, the Sonny Hill League of Philadelphia, and the NBA.

The Scouts/Mentors (Jurors):

  • NBA All-Star players Tim Hardaway, Jerome Kersey, and Terry Porter, plus;
  • Philadelphia's "Mr. Basketball" Sonny Hill - CBS sports radio host, member NBA Hall-of-Fame, advisor to the Philadelphia 76ers, mentor to over 1-million inner city teens, founder of the Sonny Hill League. 17 current NBA players came from the SHL including Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace, and Rip Hamilton.

The Commentary Pros (Jurors):

  • NBA All Stars Clyde Drexler, Bill Walton, plus current Miami Heat power forward, Udonis Haslem (a former PAL kid); 
  • UCLA All-American, NCAA Hall-of-Famer, and current LAPD Division Commander, Anita Ortega (an inspirational character in the novel);
  • Male and female Hollywood casting directors;
  • The motion picture's writer/ director. 



The final 5 boys revealed as rehearsals with the actual cast members, on-court rehearsals and coaching, and filming of the movie begins.  In addition to national and global exposure in the film and series, and equally if not more important, the boys are offered academic scholarships in one of the following categories: Athletics, Drama or Communications.


WIP logo


The HoopDream Team and Takin' It Back projects

were discussed with Philadelphia's Mr. Basketball, Sonny Hill,

on WIP 610/ CBS Sports Radio,

on his morning show, "In the Living Room." 

Part 1 
  Sonny Hill conversation   Part 2 
    We present the audio here in two parts.

A Georgetown University event (with some of the cast from the movie, NBA and Washington, D.C. notables in attendance) is planned for a preview of Takin' It Back. This event will bring thousands of inner city teens from D.C. to a Georgetown University gymnasium where they will see the film followed with a Q&A with celebrities in attendance. Those teens will hear advice offered them by sports icons who will encourage the teens to "Get an education."

HoopDream Team @ Fifteen ©2014 John A Kuri
Registerd WGA,W  1336209

To contact us regarding HoopDream Team @ Fifteen please email hoopdreamteam@yahoo.com