Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell

The sad case of Demetrius Mitchell, a gifted basketball player who went to jail instead of the NBA, is the subject of this video documentary by Michael Skolnick and William O'Neill. In the early 1990s the five-foot-nine Mitchell was a phenomenon on Oakland playgrounds, outshooting peers like Jason Kidd and Gary Payton who later made good as NBA stars. They and a half-dozen other friends sing Mitchell's praises and try to figure out what went wrong (no tough love, suggests Payton's self-righteous father); speaking from prison, a repentant Mitchell mumbles that he hung out with the wrong crowd and got messed up on drugs. With its earnest tone, choppy editing, and preponderance of talking heads, the video doesn't probe much deeper than this, leaving unexplained how such promise could be squandered. 65 min.

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