Assane Sene’s Story Featured in Documentary “Elevate”Posted by KCarpenter on November 1st, 2011
Assane Sene was the rock of last year’s Virginia team, a mostly undersized squad that often utilized a four guard line-up. While the Cavaliers ringed the arc, Sene was the man in the middle. The 7’0″ center served as a capable rebounder and shotblocker for a UVA team that struggled with front court depth after Mike Scott went down with an injury. Going into his senior year, Sene will join a now-healthy Scott and Sammy Zeglinski as the veteran leaders of a team that many expect to challenge for a spot in the upper tier of the Atlantic Coast Conference. That’s an exciting thing, and even more exciting when you find how far Assane has come to get to this point.
This afternoon, TrueHoop‘s Henry Abbott posted a review of the new documentary, “Elevate.” The documentary is about four Senegalese students, including Sene, from the SEEDS Academy in Dakar. The Academy is a place where promising West African basketball players train in basketball and academics with the goal of getting accepted into one of the elite high school or prep basketball programs in the United States, and from there, earn a scholarship to play college basketball. The film follows Sene as he makes the journey from Africa to South Kent School in Connecticut. It’s not an easy journey, and once he gets there, the challenges of navigating a totally foreign world as a somewhat shy, seven-foot tall teenager is perhaps even more daunting. It seems to be a worthwhile documentary and a powerful reminder of how hard these players have worked for their shot at the big time.
A couple of clips are available on the film’s web site, but I am particularly enamored of this segment showing Sene arriving in the United States for the first time.
The film is getting a limited initial release, but it seems likely the glowing reviews will earn it a wider distribution deal. I certainly hope it does.