I was searching Youtube for any new videos of Dakar or Senegal that might have popped up recently and somehow came across the promo for an ESPN 2011 documentary set in Dakar (and the U.S.) called Elevate. It’s a ‘basketball’ movie and my son LOVES basketball. I thought hey, a basketball movie set in Senegal, we should watch it.

Here’s what the website says about the movie. You can watch the trailer here:

“The SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, sits on a small plot of land leased from the government. There, the best young basketball players from across West Africa gather to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For those who stand out, the potential reward is huge: full scholarships to the top prep schools in the United States, where the right combination of skill and dedication will earn them a great education, pave the way to college, and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level… and maybe even a shot at the NBA.

ELEVATE follows four young men who make the cut, receive scholarships, and head off to the USA. Filmed over four years and across two continents, ELEVATE documents the daunting challenges they face, from the alienation that comes with being a seven foot tall Muslim at a Christian prep school (in an American culture rife with African stereotypes) to mastering English, adapting to aggressive American-style basketball… and navigating the vagaries of high school, girls, and drivers ed.

A heartwarming documentary that inspires without preaching, ELEVATE challenges the audience’s conception of Africa, America, and athletes–while putting a smile on their face at the same time.”

To support SEEDS academy, visit:

My son and I were both compeltely enthralled with the story of the basketball academy and the four young men that are followed through part of their journey. It’s a movie definitely worth watching and VERY family friendly. We are going to watch it again with the four of us this weekend.

One really interesting thing about the movie, is you really get a glimpse of daily life in Senegal.

Do you live with a lion? Do you live in the jungle?
I’m a person just like you.


About bestbookihavenotread

Kristine has been in education since 1993. She taught fourth grade in Ohio from 1993 - 2008. She has been a Curriculum Coordinator for four years. She is relocating to Dakar, Senegal to be the Director of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar in August 2012.
This entry was posted in Africa, Dakar, Senegal, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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