When does an amateur become a professional? At one point does talent push you over the edge? When does it really begin? These are just some of the questions at the heart of the new sports documentary “At All Costs,” which takes its audience into the world of AAU basketball, also known as the Amateur Athletic Union, and how it has professionalized youth basketball in America. As the business of youth basketball has skyrocketed, the pressure of finding the next big champion increases. The film follows highly recruited “blue chip” high school prospects, their families, and their teams as they travel the country competing in marquee tournaments against top-tier athletes and trying to get to the next level. Watch the trailer for the film below.
One of the subjects of “At All Costs” is Parker Jackson-Cartwright, a five-star point guard from Los Angeles who burst onto the national scene in 2010 when UCLA offered him a full scholarship at just 14 years old. Parker and his father navigate the messy world of recruitment while struggling to make the best choices under pressure. The film also follows the Compton Magic, one of the nation’s premier AAU programs, and its founder and CEO Etop Udo-Ema. Etop has built the Magic into a dominant force, and several Compton Magic players regularly place in the NBA draft as well as Division-1 programs around the country.