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It’s been just over 10 years since the critically acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams took us into the lives of Arthur Agee and William Gates, two inner-city Chicago kids with a common dream — that basketball could provide an opportunity to escape the projects. The film was honest and poignant and became one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time. Hoop Reality, the follow-up documentary about Agee and Gates, promises to be an equally affecting encore. Directed by Lee Davis, a Spike Lee protégé listed as one of Variety’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2000?, the film brings us up-to-date on the tumultuous lives of Agee and Gates. The NBA never provided that hoped for ticket, but they both managed to escape the ghetto. Gates, now a pastor, has chosen to return to his old neighborhood in an effort to improve his community. Agee, though battered by the world, remains the optimistic soul we originally encountered a decade ago. He now has his own sports radio show, a “Hoop Dreams” clothing line, and has formed his own foundation through which he makes public appearances and teaches children to control their own destiny, follow their dreams, and get an education. Both their lives continue to be tinged with tragedy. Agee’s father managed to kick a cocaine habit and become a pastor, only to be gunned down outside his home. Gates’ older brother was shot and killed in 2001. Yet despite these tribulations, both men are still dreaming. Agee and Gates are open, hopeful, and insightful, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them. Two years ago, they came together to record a memorable commentary track for Criterion Collection’s DVD reissue of Hoop Dreams. That enjoyable excursion was akin to a quick phone chat with a long lost friend. This film provides an even more rewarding experience.