Martin Conlon (Coyote) arrives as the new school teacher in rural America introducing a new game called basketball. When two young German immigrants arrive in town, the schoolhouse is transformed from a playground to a social battleground. Helmut and Brigitta Brink face discrimination in a country which is at war with their native land. Despite their tender innocence, they are easy targets for ridicule. With tensions riding high, Conlon enters his young students in a basketball game against an established adult squad. In a climactic game which transends the action on the court, the community pulls together and supports Conlon’s efforts, even accepting Helmut as a teammate. As the game unfolds, understanding and acceptance ultimately triumph over hate.
This film’s scenes are captured with some nice cinematography. Peter Coyote gives a fine performance as the teacher and basketball coach. There are several dramatic moments, including the return of the eldest son in a family, a son who has lost his leg to war. During the first World War, the tensions are high in the small community where Martin Conlon (Coyote) arrives, and it is keenly felt by a German boy and a young German lady. Throw in a burning barn, and the young German boy’s great passion to learn the game of basketball, and you have a pretty good story. We are pleased to award our Dove Seal to this film.