“Shooting Stars,” the new biopic film about NBA legend Lebron James released on the streaming platform Peacock on June 2nd. I’m not an avid NBA watcher. I typically only watch games if my home team the Milwaukee Bucks are in the playoffs. Nevertheless, I would be able to recite some of the most famous NBA players. I know of Lebron James and his immense success in the game.
The film “Shooting Stars” is a remarkable telling of Lebron’s childhood basketball career, the friends he made through the game, the challenges they faced, and the victories they achieved. When it comes to the spiritual life, many sports analogies have been used. In my days under the tutelage of Bishop Robert Barron at Mundelein Seminary, he often would compare the spiritual life to his favorite pastime of golf. I believe any viewer of “Shooting Stars” could also find analogies and lessons for life in general, but even more specifically, the spiritual life.
Shooting Stars Official Trailer
Humility is Needed
One of the reactions I immediately had while watching “Shooting Stars” was the need for Lebron’s humility, even in childhood. You can be a great a star and know it, yet not flaunt it or be disrespectful. Humility must be in all things, not seeking praise, and accepting whatever praise comes our way gracefully. When you watch “Shooting Stars,” take note of the moments when humility is warranted.
Value of Coaches
Coaches are central to any sports game. Coaches work their players hard. One of Lebron’s first practices with his coach at the Catholic High School he is playing for has them completing very tiring drills. This is how stars are made. And a coach has a hand in that. In the spiritual life, we need coaches who will help us get to heaven. The first coaches we have are our parents, followed by teachers and actual coaches. When we aim for heaven, our local parish priest (pastor) is our coach as he weekly preaches the gospel, celebrates Mass, and absolves our sins. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who spur us on to victory. The cloud of witnesses is the saints whose life, example, and prayers, help us. They can be our coaches teaching us to love God and showing us the way.
When You Know
In my first point, I shared that Lebron could use a dose of humility. At the same time, when you watch him excel so much at the game, you know he is destined for greatness. When you know, you know. This principal can apply to the spiritual life too. When you meet a saintly person, you just know. Their holiness exudes and is readily visible to those who meet them. When Mother Teresa was alive, people knew she was a living saint. When you meet the foundress of a religious order or a priest who is zealous for the faith, you know there is something special, and hope that just a little of what they have will rub off on you. Look for and find the people you know who can help to lead you to heaven.
Consequences of Decision
A person is always faced with good and bad choices. In the moment of making a bad decision, one doesn’t always realize the impact it could have on their future. “Shooting Stars” shows some of those moments where a few bad decisions could have had serious ramifications. As you watch, they shouldn’t be hard to spot. Spiritually, we must realize that every choice to commit sin leads us further away from the kingdom of God. How better could our lives be if we lived with Heaven always as the goal and end? How would the decisions you make change?
The Need for Others
You have heard the adage, “there is no I in team.” As Lebron continues to win games, he does so because he and his team work together well. When they choose not to be a team and rely on one player or showboat their talents, that is when they lose. Spiritually, we need other people too. In this life, we count on the prayers of others and pray for others who are in desperation. You cannot get to Heaven alone. You need the people around you to help you and you to help them.
Can a Catholic Watch “Shooting Stars?”
Lebron James is a basketball star for a Catholic school, but really the Catholicity of the school does not come into play within the movie. There are a few inappropriate mom jokes and limited bad language. A short scene also has the teens discussing porn. Other than that, it is a biopic helping people appreciate the childhood of one of basketball’s greatest players.
Fr. Looney’s Rating
8/10- Great storyline which will keep you captivated throughout the entire film.