Monday, March 12th, students in WHSAD’s Male and Female Scholars Groups, a partnership between NYC Together and NYPD police officers who serve as mentors to select students, took a trip to ESPN studios in Manhattan to view the film, “Baltimore Boys.” The film documented how a simple game can be so much more to society as it explored the impact the renowned Paul Laurence Dunbar High School basketball program had on the city of Baltimore. After suffering through the riots that followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in the spring of 1968, Baltimore, along with hundreds of cities throughout the United States, needed some hope. The Dunbar basketball team would prove to provide the beacon for not only the city but also for the players who lived in the midst of violence, poverty, and drug addiction. Providing the social context that so often serves as a backdrop for sports, Marquis Daisy’s documentary, “Baltimore Boys,” illustrates for its audience how interwoven seemingly separate aspects of our society truly are.
The following are some thoughts from those students who attended:
Yesterday, my teacher, friends, and I went to ESPN to watch a documentary called “Baltimore Boys” that was about four boys who were friends and were all on the same high school basketball team. Back then, Baltimore was really bad. It was full of violence, drugs, gangs, etc. So playing basketball was the only way for them to stay safe. David Wingate, Reggie Williams, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, and Reggie Lewis made history when they all made it to the NBA, competing and playing against each other. But all good things must come to an end. Reggie Lewis died July 27, 1993, and, still to this day, no one really knows how. Some people say it was from him doing drugs but before passing away he would always say that he doesn’t do drugs.
I liked the documentary and thought it was cool and interesting how the director, Marquis Daisy, was able to go all the way to Baltimore, get some very personal information, meet some of the biggest and best NBA players back then, and come back and make a really good documentary.
We were able to hear how Marquis Daisy reaches out to athletes and how he has to build trust with them and how to tell their stories. That’s what he did with the four boys. He took what they did and how they struggled and made it into an inspiring story. It took Marquis seven months to finish this amazing story that took place in a rough city, and it showed how Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, David Wingate, Reggie Williams, and Reggie Lewis made it even though they came from the hood. The movie was very inspiring, and I will always use that as motivation.
Yesterday was a good experience. The film, “Baltimore Boys,” enlightened me about the trouble in Baltimore and inspired me to strive for more. Who would have thought that four boys from Baltimore, especially at that time, would ever make it that far. I look forward to more activities like this.
The experience yesterday was great. Just being at ABC was an unforgettable experience. The best part was meeting the creator of the documentary, “Baltimore Boys.” Him explaining how he built the film and the process involved was eye opening in what it takes to make these films.