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A “perception-altering new documentary”
-Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times


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Before Michael Jordan.
Before Kobe Bryant.
There was… The First Basket.
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DVD, T-Shirt and CD Package: $56.00

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Help us to spread the message of Jewish basketball history. Your purchase will help us bring the story of The First Basket to Jewish students around the country.

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donated by Mitchell & Ness of Philadelphia


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Though basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, MA, the game spread like wildfire through turn-of-the-century New York settlement houses and proved a perfect fit for urban Jewish kids. By the 1920s, basketball had become a staple of life in American Jewish communities, and many of the top teams grew out of these neighborhoods. THE FIRST BASKET is the first comprehensive documentary to examine both the role that Jewish players had in the evolution of the game and the impact that basketball played in the assimilation of American Jews.

In THE FIRST BASKET, writer/producer/director David Vyorst and narrator Peter Riegert explore the little-known, yet very important, Jewish history of the game. Chock full of vivid anecdotes and distinctive characters, the film brings back famous as well as unsung basketball legends such as Red Auerbach, Red Holzman, Dolph Schayes, Red Sarachek, Barney Sedran, Eddie Gottlieb, Abe Saperstein, Ossie Schectman (that kid from New York who scored the eponymous First Basket in the NBA), Ralph Kaplowitz, Sammy Kaplan and many more. These legendary players of professional basketball became role models and heroes of generations of fans and changed the face and perception, to this very day, of Jews in all athletics.

88 Minutes | Not Rated | Color | DVD Release Date: 6/9/2009
Language: English


  • Anamorphic Widescreen [1.78:1]
  • Stereo Sound
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

This DVD is priced for private home use only. If you want to have a public screening of the film, see /info.html for more information.