adidas zip hoodie Bushwick native featured in documentary of lost promise
The 93 minute documentary Cooke named after its subject tells story of how Cooke went from the top ranked high school prospect destined for the NBA, to an also ran bouncing around the semi pro leagues. It recently screened at Lincoln Center and was just released in selected theaters nationwide.
In 2001, Cooke was a man among boys, ranked by scouts ahead of the Miami Heat LeBron James and the Knicks Carmelo Anthony and Amar Stoudemire, and he looked primed to make a splash in the NBA at a time when talented high school players often declared for the draft after graduation.
The documentary directed by brothers Josh and Benjamin Safdie goes back in time and takes you through the life of a guy who had it all at an early age the fame, free basketball gear, limos, and celebrity connections only to lose it all.
biggest thing is we wanted to tell his story chronologically and from his perspective, Benjamin Safdie said.
After his sophomore year of high school, Cooke family moved from Brooklyn to Virginia. He didn want to leave the area, so he moved to Old Tappan, NJ. He played basketball at Northern Valley High School and averaged 25 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks per game in his junior year.
Cooke went head to head with a then unknown James, a rising junior at St. Vincent St. Mary high school of Akron, Ohio, at the 2001 Adidas ABCD camp. The camp featured plenty of future NBA talent, but Cook was the main attraction.
Then James hit a shot over Cooke at the buzzer to propel his team to a win, and it was he whose name became a household word, as Cooke sweet life turned sour.
Soon after that, the 19 year old senior was ruled ineligible to play because New Jersey state rules allowed students to play varsity sports only until age 18.
Cooke didn play basketball his senior year of high school and didn have the grades to accept a Division I scholarship. After graduating,
he declared for the 2002 NBA Draft, but was not selected in either the first or second round.
In retrospect, Cooke, now 31, believes that his reputation for partying and hanging out at all hours of the night was the reason why league executives didn take a chance on him out of high school.
the time, I was young and immature, Cooke said. guess that one of the reasons I went undrafted. The dialogue juxtaposes the elder Cooke with the know it all teenager, sharing life lessons and telling him how he should take advantage of his opportunities.
The Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah, who attended Poly Prep, was the executive producer of the movie. He was hesitant at first to get involved but was glad he did. Noah felt telling Cooke story would help others avoid making the same mistakes.
life story is an example about how poor decision making at a young age can affect your future, Noah said. is easy to tell stories about your success, but extremely courageous to do the same with your failures. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site.
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