Calhoun documentary to debut on Thursday in Hartford

Jim Calhoun is fond of saying that life is a motion picture.

Well, his life and Hall of Fame coaching career will be detailed in a documentary film called Born To Lead: Jim Calhoun.

During a conference call on Friday, Calhoun talked about the documentary in advance of its premiere on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts in Hartford.

Calhoun, who retired from coaching in 2012, is looking forward to watching the entire documentary for the first time. He's only seen the first cut.

"When I'm watching clips of it, it's amazing how many memories come back," Calhoun said. "It's surreal in the sense of seeing your life being depicted ... It's a new and different feeling, that's for sure.

"You've seen pictures. I'm fortunate enough to have some tributes to me. But this different. This is life ... It's something that a lot of folks haven't seen, including myself, my family and so on."

Family members, coach Kevin Ollie, former UConn players and college basketball coaches including Syracuse's Jim Boeheim to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are featured in the film.

Callhoun's entire life is detailed, dating back to his childhood in Braintree, Mass.

"I've always said (life) is a motion picture," Calhoun said. "All of us in our lifetime go through different periods. If you look at me, as a stonecutter in Quincy, Mass., at 18, or look at me standing on the podium getting a championship ring, or at the Final Four, or at the Hall of Fame, all those things are part of the motion picture.

"The actual still (photo) is not a reflection of who you are."

While his coaching days are over, he continues to be involved with the UConn athletic department, serving as an advisor. He recently signed a contract to do some studio work for ESPN's college basketball coverage. He's still working out the details of his schedule.

"I know right now we're heading toward being in the studio," Calhoun said. "I look forward to it. ... I will be talking about something I love - basketball, kids and the game."

Calhoun is excited about reliving a life's worth of fond memories, including UConn's Big East glory days, come Thursday night.

"We certainly accomplished a great deal," said Calhoun, who won three national championships at UConn. "You know how I feel about Big East. You know how I feel about greatest basketball league in the history of intercollegiate sports.

"To be the leader in that as far as the number of wins we had as a program, that's awful special to me. There's no question you get a chance to look back and say, that was really great stuff. For all of us, that was incredibly exciting time."

g.keefe@theday.com

Twitter: @GavinKeefe

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