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Women, Sport,
and Film - 2003


On Serendip

High School Stars

Jillian Best

To : Miramax Script Screening Committee
From : Jillian Best, screen-playwright

My proposal is for a film about five female high school basketball stars. The story will cover all of their lives during the 2009-2010 season at their suburban school. Part of the film will be shot as a normal film with scenes to build character development and conflicts. The focus will be on both their lives on the court and at home and school. The other part of the film will be executed in documentary style interviews with the lead characters. Their problems and issues will be highly representative of those often dealt with by women in sports.

Character list:
Katherine Jennings- a new girl on the team. Kate is tall, blonde, and gorgeous. She comes to basketball games and practice in full make-up with perfectly curled hair. She is a sophomore and a good player, but is resented by the others on the team who feel she is too prissy and too young to be a starter. Kate has a fan club of boys from all grades who come to all of her games and follow her around school. She is the reason the games are suddenly getting so much attention. The rest of the team knows this, and while they enjoy the new appreciation for their game, they are bothered that it took a bombshell on the team to get some recognition. Kate's constant stream of boyfriends sometimes affects her performance in games and practice. She is often late and distracted. The Jennings family is plagued by a schism brought on by Kate's interest in basketball. Her mother wants nothing more than for Kate to marry a nice man and be a good wife. Mr. Jennings wants Kate to be the son he never had and be a completely dedicated basketball player. In his eyes, she has no time for boys.
Sheena Ball- the leader. Sheena has been starting since she was a freshman. She had quickly gained the respect of the older players because of her incredible skill and dedication. Now a senior, Sheena is the most well-known and well-liked girl in school. She is short and short-tempered. Her ultimate rival, besides passing chemistry, is Kate. Sheena resents everything about Katherine Jennings and she makes this no secret. Being totally for the team, Sheena would ordinarily have no problem with giving her position as MVP to another equally competent teammate. She does not see Kate as a serious player and things that the only reason she gets so much attention is because of her looks. Sheena has the full support of her parents and her four equally athletic little sisters. She is also the star player of the soccer and softball teams. Sheena's constant issue is with academics. She is dyslexic and struggles to keep her eligibility.
Alicia McAllistair- an intelligent and athletic black girl. Alicia has played basketball all her life. She was on co-ed teams at the Y when she was little. She played for her church during elementary school. Upon the development of girl's basketball in middle school, she quickly joined. She loves the game but is not all about basketball. Alicia is dedicated to academics and is the president of her school's chapter of the National Honor Society. As a senior, she must make the decision between going to an athletic school on a basketball scholarship or going to an Ivy League school on an academic scholarship. While her mother is supportive of both choices, Alicia feels that either way she would be ignoring a large part of her life. Being African-American has been an advantage and disadvantage in her life of sports. Alicia is stereotyped as being good at basketball because of her race. She resents such implications because she works hard to be good at basketball and is not successful because of her genes. She is also frustrated by the constant assumptions that she will go to school on a basketball scholarship. No one ever asks her about her academic ambitions.
Renée Fielding- a teen in trouble. Renée has been with her boyfriend for about two years now. They were friends when they were little and are seen as the perfect couple. They both play basketball and attend all of each other's games. Renée has big college plans that include going to school to play basketball. She is not that much into academics but wishes to continue playing as long as she can. She secretly aspires to be in the WNBA, but fears she isn't good enough. Mid-season Renée suspects that she is pregnant. She must make the very important decision of whether or not to keep the baby. She knows that some day she wants a family, but she also does not want to give up her dreams. She struggles with the fact that being pregnant puts her out of the game for the rest of the season and she won't get a chance to be seen by the scouts. Renée, her boyfriend, her family, and her supportive teammates weigh all of the possible options in helping her make the most important decision of her life.
Bridget Edwards- the confused teen. Bridget Edwards has a secret. She is gay. She has a girlfriend. No one at Bridget's high school, not even her closest friends on the team, knows that she is a lesbian. Last year, curious about her sexuality, Bridget decided to try to meet other confused teens on the internet. She discovered several young men and women in her own neighborhood with similar problems. Bridget began to go to meetings for gay and lesbian teens. She lied to her friends and family telling them she was doing extra practice for basketball. She met a girl who goes to a nearby high school and they are now a steady couple. Every one knows about Bridget's friend, but don't understand the extent of their relationship. Every time someone innocently questions about not having a boyfriend, or teases her about being a lesbian because she is a female athlete without an obvious heterosexual relationship she feels increasing pressure to tell the truth. Bridget's girlfriend is tired of sneaking around and wishes that they could come out of the closet. Bridget faces the dilemma of losing her girlfriend or losing her family and friends.

The end of the film will be a short interview clip with each of the girls saying what they have decided to do and a montage of their last game together. Katherine Jennings will decide to quit basketball because she feels she plays for the wrong reasons. Sheena will be accepted into college on a basketball scholarship provided she maintains a tutor for all subjects. She never learns to like Katherine, but tolerates her and, in her own way, helps Kate make the decision to quit. Alicia decides to go to Duke University where she will try to balance the work load of rigorous academic courses and heavy practice hours. Renée comes to the conclusion that basketball will have to come second to her dedication as a mother. She and her boyfriend are still together but have no plans to marry. Bridget comes out to her family and friends with good and bad consequences. She is thrown out of her house by her father. She maintains a good relationship with her mother and will be living with her best friend, Renée, before going to college at Bryn Mawr.

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