Slamma Jamma: How Far Will You Rise?

Former NFL star and TV commentator Michael Irvin headlines Tim Chey's latest production, the story of one man's attempt to be the person he's meant to be. After Michael Diggs (Chris Staples) goes to prison as the pawn in a con game, he emerges into the world he left six years later, and discovers how much it has changed. With the prayers of his mother, the support of a few friends, and the desire to love God, Diggs must overcome numerous obstacles to be the man he's meant to be.

Slamma Jamma boasts several significant sports names along with Irvin, from a guest judge at a dunk contest played by Jose Canseco to the high-flying Kenny Dobbs. Significant drama happens on the basketball court, as Diggs tries to use his tremendous "hops" to gain funds for his mother and to find release in the midst of a community that understands him. But this isn't just a sports movie; no, this is about life out of prison, and life after mistakes have been made.

As Diggs tries to work his way back into the community, he takes a job that he works hard at and handles successfully, until the manager realizes he's an ex-con (an oversight on the manager's part, not because Diggs hid it). While he's trying to be a good son to his mother, he also finds that his brother Taye (Kelsey Caesar) has fallen in with the same gang that saw Diggs do time. As he's making new friends on the court, he's still drawn into the life of his ex-fiancee, who is now dating his former best friend-turned-rival, Craig Jackson (Gary Smith). It's complicated going straight even if you weren't really "crooked" to begin with.

In Chey's script, the wit is obvious, the tension intense, and the gospel everpresent. Without beating us over the heads with it, even when's tweaking critics, Chey's score is about the way we succeed as people in Christ, not in what we do or what we've done. Like a Christian version of Above the Rim or He Got Game, Slamma Jamma's score is proved on and off the court.