Paramount To Make Ken Carter Bio

Posted: Oct 04, 2003
Paramount Pictures
by E. Davis

As reported The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures has picked up the rights to the life story of the controversial Richmond California High School basketball coach Ken Carter.

Carter made national news in 1999 when he benched his entire undefeated basketball team for poor grades. The coach forfeited two league games and made the gym off-limits until students raised their grades, a move that drew praise and criticism from parents and school officials alike.

The life-story rights to Carter’s son, Damien, were also optioned. Damien Carter was one of the members of the 1999 team who went on to earn four-year athletic scholarships. His scholarship was to the West Point Military Academy.

Carter said he hopes his story will touch a wide audience through this film.

“I hope to share the message with other people across the nation: that schoolwork matters,” Carter said. “In the term ‘student-athlete,’ student comes before athlete. I feel all kids need leaders — parents, teachers — to validate them, and this is my form of validation.”

Working closely with Carter on the script is Mark Schwahn who said the project is important and timely.

“Often, communities sacrifice compassion for the sake of winning,” he said. “As a sports fan and a sports lover, I think we need to try to figure out why is winning so important to us, and at what cost? What coach Carter did in terms of taking a stand and seeing the big picture is both uplifting and inspiring.”

There has yet to be a director attached to the project, which is tentatively titled “Old School: The Ken Carter Story.”

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