CALTECH'S HOOP DREAMS OF WINNING TOLD IN DOCUMENTARY.Byline: EVAN EVAN Expandable Van HENERSON
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There are those who suffer profound and heartbreaking defeat, and then there are the members of the Caltech basketball team who lose simply because losing is what they do. You might even say that, where hoops is concerned, defeat is part of this team's chemical makeup.
And why not? These players are future chemists, systems analysts and engineers, not jocks. They're not attending the prestigious Pasadena school -- which churns out Nobel Prize winners Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
1969 Ragnar Frisch Jan Tinbergen
1970 Paul A. Samuelson
1971 Simon Kuznets
1972 Sir John R. Hicks Kenneth J. like nobody's business -- to work up that kind of a sweat.
All the same, when writer/director Rick Greenwald began his documentary "Quantum Hoops," California Institute of Technology's basketball team was in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of a 21-year losing streak spanning more than 240 games. That's an awful lot of futility.
Can audiences love so complete a loser? Greenwald thinks so. His smartly researched film -- as much a study of a unique institution as it is a look at one of its lesser-known divisions -- never patronizes or pokes fun. These teams may be genuinely awful, or simply overmatched, but Greenwald honors them, their brainy players and their Job-like coaches alike.
He's interviewed them all, from athletic alumni from the 1950s to sports-loving Nobelists. He assembles the starting lineup of the 1985 team, the last team to win a single game. And Greenwald talks to Gregg Popovich, future NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= championship-winning coach of the San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and are the current NBA Champions after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA Finals. , whose Pomona-Pitzer squad was the last team to fall to the Beavers.
The film suggests an unlikely link between sports and science. The players may be treating hoops as a much-needed break from their studies, but that doesn't mean they're any less anxious to notch a win and put the ignominious streak to rest.
"Quantum Hoops" does build toward a climactic game: the final home game of the 2006 season on the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of the school's decision whether to drop out of NCAA NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics entirely.
A Hollywood ending would have been very much in order. The basketball gods, alas, don't permit Greenwald to supply one. So he concludes his still enjoyable documentary the only way he can: with an undersized guard, a chemical engineering major, working in a laboratory "until he gets it right."
It ain't "Rocky," but it plays.
Evan Henerson (818) 713-3651
QUANTUM HOOPS - Three stars
>Not rated: some mild language
>Starring: David Duchovny (narrator NARRATOR. A pleader who draws narrs serviens narrator, a sergeant at law. Fleta, 1. 2, c. 37. Obsolete. ), the 2006 Caltech basketball team, Roy Dow, Gregg Popovich.
>Director: Rick Greenwald.
>Running time: 1 hr. 25 min.
>Playing: Laemmle One Colorado, Pasadena.
>In a nutshell: When losers aren't.
What Caltech's basketball team lacks in shooting and defensive skills, season after season, it makes up for in prestigious science awards and techonologial achievements. If only they could break the school's 21-year losing streak, the subject of Rick Greenwald's documentary "Quantum Hoops."