AMES, Iowa — The star of New Providence, a film shot in Iowa featuring the last year of six on six basketball met some real members of the New Providence State Tourney team.
Ava Hawthorne plays a high school basketball player in the film, something she does in real life for the Gilbert Tigers. She got to meet Delores Whitehead, and Arlene Brandt, two sisters who played on the 1946 team, which was runner-up at state.
“Back in those days we had to play at Drake University,” said Brandt.
“We didn’t get beat until the last game,” said Whitehead.
Hawthorne shared how she went to try out for the movie kind of on lark. She tried out for the lead and got it.
“We filmed our basketball games on Saturdays and Sundays so we could have the crowd come,” said Hawthorne. “On Wednesdays and Thursdays I would go up by myself to do a couple of scenes that’s just by myself.”
Ava showed the trailer to the former high school players, so they could see Hollywood on their home court at the Round House in New Providence.
“I’ve heard rumors about this movie going to be made at least a year and a half or more ago,” said Brandt. “Everybody would ask me about it, and I said I don’t know anything about it, and I didn’t.”
Now she knows a lot about the film.
“I’m anxious to see the film,” said Brandt.
“Oh I am too,” said Hawthorne. “We started filming, it kind of just hit me, I’m the basketball player, that’s representing you guys who played in the past, I’m representing everybody else who has played six on six.”
The film may possibly premiere during the Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament this year.