Calhoun talks about film “Born to Lead,” to work for ESPN

Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun met with the local media to discuss “Born to Lead: Jim Calhoun,” which premieres Thursday night at The Bushnell in Hartford (7:30 p.m). The documentary was created by Chris Martens, who won six Emmy Awards and two Ace Awards while working at ESPN, and L.C. Cragg.

“It’s surreal, that’s a good word for it, surreal in the sense of seeing your life depicted, well depicted by Chris,” Calhoun said. “It’s something different. (UConn soccer coach) Ray Reid said to me, ‘Who plays you?’ ‘I said no, I play me – it’s a documentary. They had to use me, because they couldn’t use Sean Connery at the time.”

The filmmakers conducted more than 30 interviews, which included speaking to Pat Calhoun, Jim’s wife, along with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Current UConn coach Kevin Ollie, and former players – Ray Allen and Richard Hamilton among others – took part in the film. The documentary spans from when Calhoun was a teenager and had to become the man of the house following the death of his father when he was 15 through last April national championship celebration with Ollie’s team in Arlington, Texas.

“I don’t think I have completed everything in my life,” Calhoun said. “But it’s exciting (to reflect back).”

Calhoun also said Friday morning during a conference call that he has signed a contract to work for ESPN this upcoming basketball season as a studio analyst.


William Paxton