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World Premiere of Podium Pictures' LUTE set for Sept. 30 at Centennial Hall

Sep 16, 2022

The world premiere of LUTE, presented by Podium Pictures in association with CBS Sports and Arizona Assist, will take place on Friday, September 30 at 5:30 PM (MST) ahead of the annual University of Arizona Red-Blue Game. A portion of all ticket sales proceeds will benefit the Lute Olson Endowment for Excellence in  Men's Basketball.

In the early 1980's, at a time when the Arizona Wildcat men's basketball team was struggling, Robert Luther "Lute" Olson came to Tucson. He quickly rebuilt the basketball program from the ground up, making appearances at the 1988 and 1994 NCAA Final Four. But it was a scrappy 1997 "Cardiac Cats" team led by future  NBA players Mike Bibby, Jason Terry and Miles Simon that made a historic tournament run and brought Tucson its first National Championship.

Lute's career at U of A ultimately spanned decades and racked up four Final Four appearances, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and 11 Pac-10 titles. He became one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball compiling a 781–280 overall career record and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

This inspiring documentary interweaves the arc of Lute's coaching career with a detailed behind the scenes look at the building of the 1997 National Championship team and their unlikely run through March Madness. The film features interviews from Steve Kerr, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Kenny Lofton, Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, and Channing Frye, among others and is narrated by Luke Walton.

"Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a seventeen-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship. It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story," said Director Brett Rapkin. 

"I'm thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O's life and legacy," said Executive Producer and NBA/NCAA Champion Jason Terry. "This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories."

"Kirsten and I are thrilled to play a small role in helping to bring Lute's story to life. Lute's lasting impact on his family, his players, The University of Arizona community and the game of college basketball will forever be cherished," said Executive Producer and fellow Arizona alum Andrew Braccia.

LUTE will debut on CBS Sports later this year and is the first film from Podium U, a new division of the Emmy Award-winning media company Podium Pictures that focuses on helping universities tell their stories.

Tickets to the world premiere can be purchased here.