Thursday, November 20, 2008

Remember "Hoop Dreams"?

Remember this film?

'Hoop Dreams' film players remain friends; lives have diverged
Hoops stars no longer, the players featured in the 1994 film remain friends, though their lives have diverged
Sara Olkon
Chicago Tribune
November 14, 2008

It's a chilly morning and two old friends are supposed to meet for a game of hoops. The shy, steadier of the pair arrives early. The other, a fun-loving extrovert, arrives almost two hours late.

The tardy one, Arthur Agee, strolls into his buddy's office with a smile and talk of car trouble. William Gates immediately forgives him.

For more than a decade, the pair have been bound by unexpected fame. The two Chicago high school basketball players were featured in the 1994 hit documentary "Hoop Dreams." Now in their mid-30s, their contrasting fates may surprise the many people who saw the movie.

Gates, the reserved one, has become an authoritative force who leads a church in the Cabrini area. He is married with four kids. Agee, a spirited charmer, doesn't have a regular job but is launching a line of "Hoop Dreams" apparel. He has five kids by five different women.

"You ain't even Mr. Gates, now it's Pastor Gates," Agee said as the two men embraced.

Much has changed since filmmakers began chronicling their lives in 1987, when the 14-year-olds saw the NBA as their way out of poverty. Enduring close to three-hour commutes, the boys enrolled at St. Joseph High School in suburban Westchester as freshmen. The private Catholic school had famously launched the career of retired NBA point guard Isiah Thomas, whom both kids had long idolized.
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