Heat power forward Udonis Haslem has signed on to be an executive producer of an inspiring film about a South Florida youth basketball coach with ALS.
The film “Who is Lou Gehrig?” is being directed by Gil Green, who is well known in the music video business and also directs commercials and the Heat’s player introduction videos. Green’s lifelong friend, Jeff Fogel, has ALS, but continues to coach girls’ youth basketball at the North Miami JCC. The movie will focus on Fogel’s powerful imagination, which he uses as a coaching tool.
“He doesn’t make it about himself and he doesn’t crawl into a shell and give into his circumstances and limit himself,” Haslem said of Fogel. “He continues to use his mind and use his heart to contribute to others and give back. For me, that’s just like the ultimate, because I’ve known people who have had diseases and illnesses and just kind of given up and gone into a shell.
“His story is inspiring.”
The finished film will be screened at this year's Borscht Film Festival, which is Dec. 18-21. The film will feature Haslem’s debut as an actor. He will play himself. Many of Fogel’s lessons as a coach revolve around his players imagining they’re playing for the Miami Heat.
Haslem has donated $10,000 to the project, but Green is still short of his financial goal to finish the film. For more information about donating to the project please visit the film’s page on KickStarter.com. The deadline for donations is Oct. 9.