In the city, Ella Mai sits on bleachers in a parking lot. A shot clock counts down.
She stands in the center of a gym as several men dribble around her.
Wearing a Rodarte jersey, she walks out of the party store. A young man sees her and pauses. He walks up to her. She rolls her eyes and leaves in the opposite direction.
At night, she sits on the bleachers, which face her boyfriend’s house. In the family room, she sits on the couch, cellphone beside her. Her boyfriend gives her a ring. She walks away.
She sits in the bath, reading a book over the bubbles as her boyfriend talks to her.
The shot runs down to zero in the gym.
Ella Mai runs as her name is called during the pep rally. She stands in line with her teammates as she listens to the coach list off her accomplishments: honor roll student, All-State and All-American with a full ride to Duke University. The crowd cheers. The cheerleaders perform a short routine. As the team stands in the gym, she makes a speech, stating they’ll win the state championship.
While leaving the gym, a junior guy from the baseball team walks with her. She nods as he talks about a basketball game on television. She shuts her locker door in his face. In class, she raises her hand to answer a question as guy whispers to her. She talks some of her teammates at lunch. They gossip about guys. She says she’s over it. In a few months, she’ll be out of here.
A guy from her chemistry class follows her into the parking. She throws her backpack in the car and slams the door on him. He moves out of the way as she pulls out of the spot. None of the people at her school get it. She doesn’t care. She only cared enough about school to get a spot on the varsity basketball team and a scholarship. She has both now. While everyone else will be stuck at community colleges and working part-time jobs, she’s going to be a star at Duke University. She’s only a few years away from the WNBA.
Director: Colin Tilley Year: 2019