Rated 3.0

Two Detroit pals (Anthony Mackie and Wesley Jonathan) try to get ahead, one (Jonathan) by going to college in Los Angeles on an athletic scholarship and the other (Mackie) by making quick money playing “street ball,” a rough-and-ready form of basketball. Writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II leans heavily on split-screen and slow-mo editing tricks, but all the visual folderol fails to divert attention from his script problems, which include a wealth of clichés and an inability to focus clearly on what story he wants to tell. The movie is also burdened by some amateurish acting in supporting roles, but Mackie and Jonathan are the real deal, and they get good support from Wayne Brady as a smarmy sports agent. The three of them, plus some kinetic, exciting game scenes, make everything else worth sitting through.