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The Heart of the Game

Rating:PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Genre:Documentary
Release Date:June 9, 2006
Running time:102 minutes
Cast:Darnelia Russell, Bill Resler, Devon Crosby-Helms, Meghan Miller, Jade White
Director:Ward Serrill
Producer:Ward Serrill, Liz Manne
Writer:Ward Serrill
Distributor:Miramax Films

Description: When Seattle filmmaker Ward Serrill met Bill Resler, a college tax professor who moonlights as a girls' basketball coach, he didn't realize that he was about to embark on an incredible seven-year journey. Serrill, camera in hand, followed Resler -- who looks more like Santa Claus in Birkenstocks than a whistle-blasting high school coach -- into the Roosevelt High School gym and soon discovered a group of girls whose unbridled toughness, passion and energy he came to call "The Heart of the Game." Then, one day, onto the Roughriders' court (and into the film) walked Darnellia Russell -- a tough, inner-city girl whose off-court struggles would eventually threaten to crash the star athlete's plans to play college ball and be the first person in her family to get a college education. At the center of "The Heart of the Game" is Darnellia's unforgettable true story -- the loss of her eligibility and her legal battle to get back on court to play the game that means everything to her. With Coach Resler, her team and her family standing by her side, she takes on enormous personal obstacles as well as the ruling body of high school sports in Washington State.

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