Girls' Hoops (Film)

Girls' Hoops

  •  Justine Richardson
  •  1998
  • Color IconColor
  •  27:15
  •  3/4" U-matic video
Film Description
In Kentucky, basketball is an obsession. The enthusiasm of Kentucky fans permeates every part of the state, and communities draw a sense of pride and identity from successful high school teams, supporting them by the thousands, especially in the rural, Appalachian mountain region. In the towns of Whitesburg, Jenkins, and Hazard, Kentucky girls teams dominate the basketball spotlight. Of special interest amidst the debate over the value of Title IX support for women’s athletics, Girls’ Hoops explores the history of girls’ high school basketball in Kentucky from its first heyday in the 1920s, followed by a 42-year ban on statewide competition, to its rebirth in the 1970s and development into the fiercely competitive, popular sport it has become today. Filmed over the course of a basketball season, the program features exhausting practices, intense games, rousing half-time talks, championship performances and enthusiastic fans from small coal mining communities where a winning girls team is the talk of the town. Girls’ Hoops includes up-close interviews with today’s players and coaches, comments from a 94-year old player from a 1920s championship team, and interviews and game footage of the woman who broke the gender barrier in the mid-70s.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Athens International Film Festival
  • Kentucky Foundation for Women
  • Nashville Independent Film Festival
  • Houston International Film Festival

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“A brilliant film that fully captures what women’s basketball has meant and continues to mean to women athletes everywhere.” — University of Kentucky
“Like the game itself, Girls’ Hoops is fast paced and replete with human drama.” — M Magazine
“What struck me immediately about Girls’ Hoops was the poignancy of the women’s comments on their sports experience. Their responses were haunting.” — Sweet Briar College