|COMING BACK TO THE HOOP|
43 years ago Jane Pittman, a promising basketball star at her small town High School, ran off the court never to return ... until now. When Jane stumbles across the Nova United Senior Women's Basketball League, old passions are reignited. Vowing to get into the best shape of her life, she is determined to play competitive ball again. What she never expected to find on this journey is a passionate group of seniors who have decided to 'wear out, before we rust out'. Choosing basketball over bingo, these women come together for much more than sports. 'Coming Back To The Hoop' is a film about the transforming power of basketball and the healing it brings when you connect with something larger than yourself and give yourself over to the team.
Jane Pittman is a director, cinematographer and editor based in Washington DC. Her extensive repertoire of short films, feature documentaries and educational/training videos, has appeared on PBS and film festivals throughout the southeast. (This Is How Time Passes, Prophets Rising, In Your Hands ). Jane's films are also distributed nationally by Intermedia, a distributor of social interest educational programming and by Film's Media Group. With a master's degree in music, Jane's work follows a distinct rhythm, lending her films a unique artistic touch.
If anyone had told me two years ago that I would be playing basketball in a senior league, I would have said that they were out of their minds. That's not going to happen. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a senior basketball league for women. Yet here I am, age 60 now, playing basketball, competitive basketball I might add, around the country.
I also didn't start out planning to make a film that I would be in. That was also not in my realm of consciousness. But as I began to research the idea of possibly doing something around baby boomer women and active aging, I was hanging out at local rec centers in the greater DC area. It was at one of these rec centers where I met Mary Lou D'lessandris practicing basketball one Thursday afternoon. Mary Lou was 73 years old at the time and she kept insisting that I join her on the court to shoot some hoops. I kept resisting but she eventually won out. I thought if a 73 year old woman can run up and down the court, than I should get off my 57 year old butt and join her.
It took all of about 20 minutes for 20 years of stress, worry, pain and neurosis to exit my body. It was on the way home in the car that I made the decision to come back. I'm coming back to the hoop I told myself. Shortly thereafter, I joined the senior league and decided that maybe I have a story to tell about this experience.
"Coming Back To The Hoop" has had a profound effect on my life. Not only am I in the best shape of my life, but I've met the most inspiring women with the most amazing life stories. We have a special bond and a rather large community of support. Basketball is much more than just a sport. It's truly a life line for all of us.