The First Basket
The First Basket (2008)

David Vyorst's documentary The First Basket takes a look at the early days of the Basketball Association of America. When it was formed in 1946, the majority of players were Jewish -- a fact that certainly is not true of American… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
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Critic Score: 70% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times

It uncovers a fascinating and largely forgotten chapter of the game's history that is well worth revisiting.

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Nathan Lee
New York Times

The First Basket, a functional (if narrowly interesting) history lesson by the filmmaker David Vyorst, recollects the rich history of Jewish participation in basketball.

Lewis Beale
Film Journal International

Filled with terrific archival footage, The Last Basket is engrossing and fun, but tends to go on a bit too long.

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Lou Lumenick
New York Post

A valuable reminder that for nearly three decades, basketball was dominated by Jewish players -- and coaches who found the sport an ideal vehicle for assimilation in the United States.

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Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News

David Vyorst's comprehensive and celebratory documentary presents the stats in one easy-to-follow, nicely organized 86 minutes.

Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine

Unforgiveable are the kitschy, Photoshopped graphics that maddeningly mock the defenseless interviewees from the sidelines.

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Ronnie Scheib

When the history of the sport is allowed to unfold through the reminiscences of geriatric Yiddish pros, pic approaches the richness of its impressive archival trove. Too often, however, director David Vyorst's chauvinistic agenda intrudes.

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Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine

The First Basket is a moderately interesting documentary about a moderately interesting subject.

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