September 12, 2012

Weissman's story to become movie

More news about: Gettysburg | Washington College
Cory Weissman's memorable shot was heard around the world of sports.
Gettysburg athletics photo by Tommy Riggs

The inspirational story of Cory Weissman, the Gettysburg College basketball player who suffered a stroke during his first year on campus, only to return to the court for one extraordinary moment during his senior year, will be coming to the silver screen. Shooting for the movie 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story will begin on campus in October.

The film is a production of Gettysburg Great Productions, LLC, a subsidiary of Gettysburg College.

David Henrie (Wizards of Waverly Place) will play the lead in 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story, the true story of Weissman, who suffered a catastrophic stroke as a freshman at Gettysburg College but through determination and an indomitable spirit returned to the court for one remarkable moment in the last game of his senior year.

Multiple Emmy nominee Beau Bridges (Without Warning: The James Brady Story, The Descendants) stars as Gettysburg coach George Petrie and Jean Louisa Kelly (Mr. Holland’s Opus, Yes, Dear) plays Cory’s mother Tina, a physical therapist who became her son’s partner in a long recovery.

Legendary trumpet player and six-time Grammy Award winner Arturo Sandoval, who won an Emmy for the score to the HBO film of his own life story, For Love or Country (starring Andy Garcia), will compose and record the score for the film.

1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story is produced by former longtime Disney executive Bruce Gordon and Bob Burris (Growing Pains), who also wrote the script, and will be directed by Michael Levine (Nowhere Man).

The movie tells the inspiring true story of Weissman, a 1,000-point high school basketball star, who suffered a catastrophic, life-threatening stroke at the end of his freshman year leaving him paralyzed on the left side. Three years later, in the last game of his senior year, improbably, even impossibly, Weissman returned to the basketball court. Petrie's plan was simple. Non-playing, still-recovering, co-captain Weissman would be a starter, would hear his name announced and then, to avoid any possibility of injury, would be immediately removed from the game after the opening tap.

When Weissman's name was announced and he walked to the center circle the crowd erupted. When a beaming Weissman was quickly replaced the cheering intensified: a raucous celebration of the triumphant climax of one extraordinary young athlete’s utterly unlikely journey and the impact he had made on his family, his team, his school, even the teams he played against.

With Gettysburg up by a commanding lead, Petrie made the fateful decision to put Weissman back in for the game’s remaining seconds. But for opposing Washington College coach Rob Nugent, the story was not yet complete. Nugent, who will play himself in the film, instructed his players to deliberately foul Weissman. In his last season, in his last game, he finally had a chance to score the first – and only – point of his collegiate basketball career. What happened next rivals the most emotional moments in sport.

“For all those who still see sports as a worthwhile pursuit, a metaphor for life and who sometimes find in our college athletes those qualities we all aspire to ... Cory Weissman’s story of personal determination and the sportsmanship exhibited by his coach, his teammates and the opposing team will make for a remarkable movie experience,” said Gordon and Burris.

"That was the most confident shot of my basketball career," Weissman said. "I thought to myself, 'After three years of hard work and all I've been through, there's no way this ball's not going in.'"

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