Aug. 3, 2009
Former Arizona men's basketball player and 1988 Final Four participant Harvey Mason Jr. opened the American Film Institution's SILVERDOCS Film Festival last month with More Than A Game, a film he produced about 2008-09 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player LeBron James and his teammates in their senior year of high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio.
The film follows James and his childhood friends as they chase their dream of a high school basketball national championship.
Mason Jr., as many are aware, is famous for producing and writing top-hit singles for such recording stars as Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Luther Vandross, Britney Spears, Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and Whitney Houston.
"I think one of the reasons artist and execs like what I do is because I try and make every song specifically for that artist," says Mason Jr. He has used that philosophy in his work with many of the American Idols, including Jordin Sparks and her single "No Air", a duet featuring Chris Brown, which topped the Billboard charts in 2008.
Mason Jr. is one of a long list of Arizona basketball lettermen who will be in attendance Saturday (Aug 8) at the Lute Olson retirement celebration in McKale Center. The event, scheduled for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.
In 2007, Mason Jr. produced the soundtrack to the Academy Award winning film Dreamgirls and was the first producer to have three songs nominated for an Academy Award in the same year.
However, Mason Jr. made the leap into producing film, when four years ago he partnered with director Kris Belman to produce More Than A Game. Mason Jr. brought his experience on the Wildcat basketball team to the film which will be released by Lionsgate Films on October 2, 2009.
"The movie for me is an inspirational and motivational story about five kids who set their goal and reach their dreams," said Mason Jr. "If you believe in something, and you want to accomplish it, it just takes hard work."
As an elected member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy (NARAS), Harvey has guest lectured at Grammy Camp and participated in Grammy in the Schools, and the Music Cares Foundation.
Mason Sound in North Hollywood is home to Harvey Mason Media. Mason Sound features five state-of-the-art recording rooms and houses administrative offices overseeing his production company, publishing venture and record label.
Mason Jr. played for the Wildcats from 1986-90, capturing three Pac-10 titles and earning a Final Four berth in 1988 with teammates Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, Kenny Lofton and Jud Buechler. He was a career 42 percent 3-point shooter, making 50 treys in 118 attempts. Additionally, Mason Jr. scored 455 total career points in 115 appearances. He was perhaps best known for his defensive prowess, racking up 56 steals and 28 rejections as a Wildcat.