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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Basketball Man a slam dunk in Las Vegas

Yes, we’re more than a few days late reporting on last week's special sneak preview of Frozen Pictures’ documentary film, Basketball Man, at the Las Vegas House of Blues.

Here’s the word: It was a smash.

Go to the film's website for a complete wrap-up, but we can tell you that the funky music hall in the swank Mandalay Bay casino was crawling with sports legends, from Oscar Robertson to Marques Haynes-- and the house rocked with applause, cheers and laughter as the big screen and many monitors unreeled highlights of the feature film on the life and legacy of Dr. James Naismith, basketball’s inventor.

The night was hosted by comedy superstar Tommy Davidson, who accompanied Harlem Globetrotter ball-handling genius Gator Rivers with a sweetly-whistled "Sweet Georgia Brown," then brought down the House on his own with a side-splitting comedy set.

Sharing the starpower was grandson Ian Naismith, who carries the valuable original rules of basketball in the documentary and showed them to the reporter from the Las Vegas Sun and others at the House of Blues:

The briefcase is gold instead of black. And inside, instead of $5,000 in greenbacks to keep an orphanage going, there are just two yellowing double-spaced typewritten sheets of paper kept in clear page protectors. Otherwise, you might confuse Naismith for one of the Blues Brothers.

But unlike Jake and Elwood, he's not on a mission from God. A mission for granddad is more like it…


Basketball Man is headed for nationwide barnstorming promotional tour, including an exclusive Los Angeles theatrical screening in order to qualify for Oscar consideration.

We hear that the producers from Frozen Pictures (right, with Naismith), the Double Dog Sports & Entertainment executive producers and Davidson have been been huddled all week.

More on that as details develop…