Life, near-death and hope for ‘Hoop Dreams’ basketball player and coach Shawn Harrington

Shawn Harrington, who tasted a bit of fame when he played basketball for the Marshall High School basketball team featured in the acclaimed 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams,” cheated death 20 years later when he was shot by two men in a tragic case of mistaken identity while riding in a car with his daughter.

“I never dream about the shooting,” he says. “That is one of my many blessings.”

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by Rick Kogan
Chicago Tribune
Sept 17, 2018
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20 Years Later, Former College Basketball Coach Makes Amends

In the mid-90’s, the men’s basketball team at New Mexico State University was in trouble. Because of an academic scandal involving phantom classes, the team was barred from tournament competition. Several players transferred. Others were declared ineligible. Rus Bradburd, who’d only recently been hired as an assistant coach, had a heck of a job on his hands.

“Suddenly I had to replace an entire team, ” Bradburd says. “And one of the other coaches got fired, and another one left. So I was by myself with a head coach that was not active in recruiting. So I had to replace 13 guys by myself.”

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by Bill Littlefield
May 04, 2018

A ‘Hoop Dreams’ Sequel, Written by Gun Violence

CHICAGO — The first truly great American sports documentary, it’s universally agreed, was “Hoop Dreams.” Released in 1994, it garnered immediate critical acclaim; Roger Ebert later called it the best film of the decade and “one of the great moviegoing experiences of my lifetime.” Its failure to be nominated for an Academy Award caused such an outcry that the process for nominating Oscar-worthy documentaries was eventually revamped.

“Hoop Dreams,” you’ll perhaps recall, followed two promising basketball players from Chicago’s West Side from the eighth grade through high school. One of them, William Gates, became a star guard for suburban St. Joseph, where Isiah Thomas went to high school; the other, Arthur Agee, began at St. Joseph but ultimately wound up at his local public school, Marshall High, where in 1991 he led the team to a surprise third-place finish in the Illinois state championships.

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by Joe Nocera
New York Times
December 23rd, 2016

Chicago’s Shawn Harrington Named NCAS National Coach of the Year

“The National Consortium for Academic and Sports announced its 2015 national winners, and among them was Chicago high school coach Shawn Harrington, who was part of the 1994 “Hoop Dreams” documentary and who last year was the victim of a mistaken identity shooting that left him paralyzed as he tried to protect his daughter during the incident.”

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by SLAM Staff
April 07, 2015