Yauch turns focus to basketball documentary

Some of college basketball’s brightest stars, including Kansas State’s Michael Beasley and UCLA’s Kevin Love, are featured in Beastie Boy Adam Yauch’s new documentary, “Gunnin’ for That No. 1 Spot.”

And while it’s less than two years since he followed the then-high school players for a week, he still can’t get over how much they’ve changed.

“They already look different, and I think it will be really interesting to look at this doc five or 10 years from now and see these guys when they were high school students. There’s a good chance that several of them may be superstars in the NBA,” Yauch told The Associated Press in an interview this week. “They were like babies in this picture.”

Yauch took his camera to Harlem’s famed Rucker Park, made famous by streetballers, in September 2006 to document some of the nation’s top high school talent, who were playing in an event there.

Yauch said he was struck by how the players – who also included Jerryd Bayless of Arizona, Donte Green of Syracuse and Kyle Singler of Duke – could act like kids one minute, yet live in such an adult world.

“They have this infrastructure around them, and they are being groomed for stardom,” he said.

“When I was in high school I wasn’t getting the quantity of media that these guys are,” he said. “But it’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Yauch, 43, said the documentary, which premieres April 28 at the Tribeca Film Festival, doesn’t make a judgment on the world where the precocious teens lived, but does give viewers a glimpse into it. He added: “The people around these kids really do care about them.”

“Gunnin’ for That No. 1 Spot” is slated for wide release June 27.

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