Skip to main content

June 14, 2023

A film 50 years in the making

A documentary by Hunter Neal '22, MSM '23 looks at Guilford's 1973 NAIA Championship team and gives viewers a glimpse into life at the College 50 years ago. 

Fifty years ago, Guilford’s men’s basketball team won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics basketball title. At the time, the story of the Quakers' remarkable run made national headlines – from Sports Illustrated to the New York Times.

Hunter (above), who spent the past year working as a Presidential Fellow in the College's Office of Communications & Marketing, hopes to rekindle memories of the championship with a new documentary, 1973 – A Season to Remember, which was released this week.

Before putting together the documentary, Hunter’s knowledge of the players and coaches on the 1973 team were limited to what he saw walking around Ragan-Brown Field House. For example, photos and trophies in glass cases and Jack Jensen Court, named after the team’s head coach at the time. And names like M.L. Carr ’73 and World B. Free ’76.

“As a student you heard their names but it didn’t really mean much,” he says. “They were just names.”

Hunter’s documentary brings those names and their stories about Guilford alive again. A former Quakers' men's basketball player himself, he interviewed the surviving members of the  championship team and documented their return to Guilford in February for a reunion honoring their championship run.

“It was great getting to talk to these guys you’d only heard about,” says Hunter. “And it wasn’t just about basketball. To hear them tell stories about what it was like to be a student at Guilford 50 years ago was really, to me, fascinating. With every message or story from one player, I wanted to learn a little more from the next.”

Hunter graduated in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Sport Studies. He’s pursuing his master's in the College’s new International Sports Management graduate program. As an undergraduate, he took several film classes including Filming the Personal Narrative, Masterpiece in Cinema and Documentary Film Production. He produced a recruiting video for the Quakers’ women’s basketball team last year, but 1973 – A Season to Remember is his first foray into documentary filmmaking.

In addition to interviews with team members the documentary includes archival footage of the championship final game and an introduction by Greensboro journalist and historian Jim Schlosser ’65.

“I’m really happy with the end product,” he says. “When I watch it, I have a smile on my face. I hope others who watch it leave with a smile, too.”