It's 1966. Things are really heating up in Vietnam. Star Trek makes its TV debut. John Lennon declares the Beatles "more popular than Jesus." And relatively unknown Texas Western College is about to enter the history books—simply by putting black players on the court.
That's the premise of Glory Road, the story of the '66 Texas Western Miners, where rookie coach Don Haskins, a 35-year-old white man, dared to fill out his lineup with mostly African-American players. The team went on to win the national championship (that's no plot spoiler, by the way; the studio's official synopsis says so in the very first sentence), where Haskins made a bold statement by starting five black players in the title game against all-white Kentucky. It was an unprecedented move in a sport that, till then, was played mostly by whites at the major college level. In a decade where radicals were making the news, Haskins joined them in the headlines for his own brand of radicalism.
One scene in Glory Road that typifies the film. It's late in the season, the team is on a roll, and during a shootaround in the gym, forward Willie Cager (Damaine Radcliff) collapses to the floor, holding his chest. We learn that Cager has been diagnosed with an enlarged heart—a condition he'd known about since high school, but never told Haskins (Lucas) for fear that he wouldn't be allowed to play.
Glory Road is a lot like that. It's a movie with a big heart, about young men showing a lot of heart, with a storyline that goes straight for the heart. It's the latest in Disney's successful string of inspiring films based on true sports stories—Miracle, Remember the Titans, The Rookie, and, most recently, The Greatest Game Ever Played. Some of those were forgettable, ...1