[This story originally appeared on The North Coast Review, a blog based in Prince Rupert that contains “items of interest to those living on the North Coast of BC.”]
Prince Rupert and our surrounding Indigenous communities may lay claim to a love of basketball, but some notes of celebration can be found to our north as well.
That includes the community of Metlakatla, Alaska, whose passion for hoops is the feature of an award-winning documentary just released this Spring.
Alaskan Nets weaves the twin narratives of the importance of fishing and basketball to the Alaskan community which has strong ties to the North Coast of BC as well.
The documentary, a real life adventure which as the creators note can be compared to Friday Night Lights and Hoosiers, charts the hopes and heartbreaks of the small Alaskan community as it follows the local high school basketball team.
The movie was the Audience Choice at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, selected among 100 films that were part of that festival.
You can learn more about the project here from Alaska Public Radio.
One of the opening lines as part of the interview provides a theme that would seem rather familiar for those who travel to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament year to year.
“But basketball—it’s not religion, but it’s kind of close. In Alaska, it means a lot. It’s not just a game, it’s way, way more than that,” Director Jeff Harasimowicz explained to Alaska Public Radio.
The promotional video for the film can be viewed below:
The film has a Facebook page for those wishing to keep up on its success.