Students to Shoot Basketball Documentary

Two third-year students are creating a documentary series that follows this year’s Men’s Basketball team both on and off the court.

Brett Grossfield and Jason Abramowitz are behind, “Soaring Above the Rest: A Tale of the 2010-2011 New Paltz Hawks.” The first episode of the series originally aired on Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.

After the seeing the success of HBO’s series “Hard Knocks,” the two loved the idea of getting a different perspective on how a local team can build a championship program.

According to Abramowitz, when the two decided to make a documentary, they were initially interested in the Men’s Basketball team. They later spoke to both Basketball Head Coach Dagan Nelson and Hawks leading scorer Harris Wichard. Both men were very receptive to the idea, and Grossfield and Abramowitz were ready to start production just as the basketball season was starting, making the project a natural fit.

The goal of the series is simple.

“We want to be able to give the students of New Paltz an unprecedented look at our athletic team,” Grossfield said. “[The series] also acts as a backstage pass to see all that makes up a successful collegiate team–from the first meeting of the year to the final buzzer of the season.”

Grossfield and Abramowitz said they hope that the audience will get to know the players and coaches on a much more personal scale, as they have throughout the season.

Grossfield believes that the players enjoy the coverage, while Coach Nelson keeps everything strictly professional and does not let the media attention become a distraction to the team’s ultimate goal of winning.

The series will continue in its normal 6 p.m. time slot every few weeks during the Spring semester, while the first episode will be playing sporadically this month.

Grossfield feels that, “there is so much more to basketball than what you see during the forty minutes at the Hawk Center. This [documentary] is your chance to see the hours of effort, hard work, and dedication that these players put into making New Paltz a tremendous school, both academically and athletically.”

For anyone who wants to catch the first episode of the series, it will air again this afternoon at 4:35 p.m. on the WNPC TV network, or anytime at