“Utah Wheelin’ Jazz: Doin’ Hard Work” is a short documentary featuring members of the Utah Jazz Wheelchair league, which competes with other teams from across the country.
It’s put together by a budding young filmmaker, Randall Wade, whom I’ve personally known for a number of years, from back in the day when I produced newscasts at KUTV.
Randall had a chance to meet these amazing wheelchair athletes and decided to tag along and film a recent championship tournament in Los Angeles.
One of the key players, Jeff Griffin, is a three-time NWBA All Star, who suffered paralysis after falling 40 feet at a construction project years ago. He is the team leader and an inspiration to not only his fellow players, but also to anyone who takes the time to listen.
He’s a tough competitor who loves sports and isn’t going to let a little disability get in his way. We can learn a lot from this man.
And while this documentary is certainly uplifting, so far, at its 50-minute length, it’s only a good start.
Randall needs to go back and capture more of the behind-the-scenes lives of these gifted athletes, use a bit less grandiose narration, lose the JDQ Sports Network nonsense and let these people tell their stories.
I’m certain there’s a great film in here somewhere; it just needs more depth, more focus and more background on this wonderful subject material.