We’re lucky enough to have a lot of great basketball movies: Space Jam. Finding Forrester. Glory Road. Love and Basketball. White Men Can’t Jump. Inside Moves is a ‘70s movie that is really excellent in many respects.
And, of course, Hoosiers.
Hoosiers, if you haven’t seen it, is the story of a small-town Indiana high school that, miraculously, won the Indiana state championship. It’s based on a true story of Milan winning the championship in 1954. Keep in mind that at that point, and for many decades after, Indiana had an open championship. There were no divisions.
The movie version combined an underdog story, a redemption story (the coach had been banned for live by the NCAA for hitting a player) and a love story.
Movies aren’t real life of course. Real life is messy and difficult and full of sorrow with occasional moments of great joy that justify the occasional pain we all have to deal with.
Most of us are fine with that bargain but some people have a more difficult time. Take Kent Poole, who played Merle Webb, the guy who says [“[l]et’s win this one for all all the small schools that never had a chance to get here.”
From all accounts a good man, Poole struggled with depression as an adult and ultimately took his own life.
His son and some other people put together this short film about his life and who he was. He comes across as a really good man who just couldn’t overcome his depression.
It’s a sweet movie from a loving family that has learned to live with a devastating loss. It’s also another good reminder about the importance of mental health and that we all need to look after each other as best we can.