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THE UP AND UP
John Walters
February 12, 2001
A video that exuberantly celebrates hip-hop hoops soars to the top of the best-seller list
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February 12, 2001

The Up And Up

A video that exuberantly celebrates hip-hop hoops soars to the top of the best-seller list

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We counted 189 dunks in Ball Above All, the best-selling video from the basketball website hoopsTV.com. That works out to one dunk every 11.1 seconds. We watched in awe as gravity-immune players performed one-handed dunks, two-handed dunks, windmill dunks, alley-oop dunks, tip dunks and between-the-leg dunks. We even witnessed a launched-from-the-free-throw-line slam by Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) phenom James White.

Like its stars (almost all of them unidentified high school or strictly playground bailers), the 35-minute video has soared, recently spending two weeks at No. 1 on the Amazon.com best-seller list. Why not? Ball Above All is unadulterated, unabashed hip-hop hoops, a rap video accompanied by the most ethereal aerial choreography this side of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Between dazzling dunks and ball handling legerdemain that would render Cousy woozy, comedian Sinbad appears in a Harlem barbershop musing on a variety of basketball topics. Here's Sinbad on crossover dribblers who attempt to cross over to rap: "Kobe, Kobe, you got game. No more albums! No more!" Make no mistake, though. While the Lakers All-Star guard is mentioned and Rockets guard Steve Francis is shown in the film playing for a summer league team, Ball Above All is straight-up street. If you already wondered whether you suffer from white man's disease, Ball Above All will inspire only more sole searching.

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