Heavy hitters involved in potential "Maynard 8 Miles" movie

Girls' basketball: Screenwriter of 'Hoosiers' and 'Rudy' is signed on, and so is Bo Ryan

It’s a sports story. It’s a love story. And it appears to be going to film.

Angelo Pizzo, the screenwriter for movies such as “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,” has signed on to write a movie script based on “Maynard 8 Miles,” a book written by Brian Borland about Iowa six-player girls’ basketball in the 1950s.

The book is based on the career of Borland’s mother, Carolyn Nicholson Borland, a six-on-six forward who led Maynard High School to the state championship in 1956.

“When I met with (Pizzo), I thought maybe he would spend five minutes with me,” said Borland, who lives in Verona, Wis. “But we really connected, and our first meeting lasted six hours.”

Now 53, Borland didn’t know his mother played basketball until he was in his 40s.

“Everybody knew who my dad (Glenn Borland) was, but mom never talked about her (high school) career,” Borland said.

Glenn Borland played basketball at Oelwein High School — 8 miles away from Maynard — and graduated there in 1954 before becoming a starter and captain for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Carolyn and Glenn met in high school, fell in love and married. Carolyn was inducted into the IGHSAU girls’ basketball hall of fame in 1971.

She died in 2009, a few years before her son’s book was completed. Glenn died last year.

“My guess is the movie will be based on the book, but I understand there could be some variations,” Brian Borland said. “Angelo and I are pretty much in sync on everything, and I will defer to Angelo’s creativity.”

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Pizzo said in a release, “I loved Brian’s book and thought immediately that here was an opportunity to write a sports story from the female vantage point, something I’ve never done.

“Very few people know how special girls’ basketball was in Iowa during the ’50s. This book captures that uniqueness in a heartfelt and triumphant way.”

Borland will co-produce the movie, as will former Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan, an advocate of girls’ and women’s basketball.

“The story is better than ‘Hoosiers,’” Ryan said in the release. “It’s a tremendous human-interest story featuring great life lessons told through exciting basketball action. I read the book in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the movie.”

Production of the project is scheduled for 2018, with it likely premiering in Iowa.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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