Ball of Confusion is a documentary about the history of basketball. The film is about how the sport, invented by Canadian Dr. James Naismith, served and continues to serve to bring people of all walks of life, together, in America and throughout the world. The United States was a segregated and culturally, highly divisive nation for many years, but the game served as a conduit for generations of people who learned to play together, work together, live together and grow together as one nation.
Ford Motor Company played a pivotal role in 1935 when Gordon Fuller, a Canadian businessman, approached Henry Ford about funding the Canadian basketball team’s trip to Germany for the 1936 Summer Olympics. Henry Ford agreed and Ford Motor Company became the first corporation to sponsor an athletic team. The V8’s played well and reached the Championship game against the United States.
In the end, the US team won the game, but the captain of the Canadian team, Jim Stewart, ended up with the game ball (the Berg Ball). He handed it to his wife who carried it out of the stadium underneath the Hudson Bay blanket she had used to keep herself warm on that blissful day. The Stewarts brought the ball home to Canada where it has been secretly kept by their family for the past eighty years. The Berg Ball is now part of this documentary and the history of the game. Not by coincidence, over many decades, four members of the Stewart Family proudly worked for Ford Motor Company.
Ball of Confusion is about how the sport of basketball brought a nation, then the world, together. It’s about how white communities played separately from black communities in New York. How Jewish players played separately from both, only to be brought together when Coach McClendon, himself half black and half Indian, called for a game between the black team he coached and a white team across the city. They played a game in secret, at night. It’s about Abe Saperstein, a Jewish businessman, buying and operating the Harlem Globetrotters who served as the World’s ambassador to break all barriers of diversity all over the world. It’s about an Indian Reservation in Lawrence Kansas, the Haskell reservation, that gave Coach McClendon his first opportunity to coach.
Created in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by a Canadian physician, the game of basketball quickly became a college and then professional sport. During much of the 20th century, the United States was a segregated and culturally, highly diverse nation, but the game served as a conduit for generations of people who learned to play together, work together, live together and grow together as one nation.
With 30 films and more than 20 television shows to his credit, over 75 million viewers in the United States alone have seen Cylk Cozart’s work. But, for Cozart, it is his love of children and helping others less fortunate that led him to Hollywood and what continues to underscore his reason for being in show business. Cylk Cozart’s wide range of talents as an actor, producer, writer, singer, model and songwriter have made him one of Hollywood’s most sought after artists. Cozart has an impressive list of film credits to his name that have garnered well over a half a billion dollars at the box office, including: Conspiracy Theory (1997) (Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts); Ron Shelton’s White Men Can’t Jump (1992); Three to Tango (1999) (Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell); Love Affair (1994) (Annette Bening and Warren Beatty); Eraser (1996) (Arnold Schwarzenegger); Play It to the Bone (1999) (Antonio Banderas and Woody Harrelson); Blue Chips (1994) (Nick Nolte and ‘Shaquille O’Neal (I)’); and In the Line of Fire (1993) (Clint Eastwood).
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to a Native American mother and an African-American father, Cylk was given the fuel he needed to fulfill his life-long dream. A natural athlete, Cozart excelled at sports in high school and was one of the best players on both the basketball and football teams. Graduating with high marks and outstanding athletic skill, he was offered numerous basketball and football scholarships to colleges across the country. He chose King College in Bristol, Tennessee, where he majored in Child Psychology. After college, Cozart pursued his goal of playing professional basketball, but a foot injury while playing in the NBA Summer Pro League ended his dream.
After a successful modeling career in Miami, Cozart made his feature film debut in Warner Bros. Blue Skies Again (1983) opposite Andy Garcia. Deciding to relocate to New York to study his craft, Cozart continued modeling and appeared in numerous publications such as Vogue, GQ, and Essence. His love for theatre soon led him to be in two prominent stage plays: “Diary of a Black Man” and “The Big Knife.” He also trained at the American Repertory Theatre and the Sundance Institute under the tutelage of Robert Redford.
Since then Cozart has appeared in the movies-of-the-week: Johnny Tsunami (1999) for Disney; Slam Dunk Ernest (1995) with Jim Varney and A Family Divided (1995) with Faye Dunaway, both for NBC. He also had recurring roles on NBC’s Reasonable Doubts (1991) with Mark Harmon, ABC’s Gabriel’s Fire (1990) with James Earl Jones; and HBO’s Dream On (1990). He guest-starred on such shows as UPN’s Sister, Sister (1994); CBS’s Diagnosis Murder (1993) and Walker, Texas Ranger (1993); Fox’s Ned and Stacey (1995) Roc (1991), M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994), and Living Single (1993); NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990); ABC’s Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992); and Lifetime’s Any Day Now (1998) with Annie Potts in which Cozart also exhibits his singing talents. His early film work included roles in School Daze (1988) directed by Spike Lee, and Fire Birds (1990) with Nicolas Cage and Tommy Lee Jones.
President of his own production company, Cozart is also Co-Chairman of the newly formed production entity, P.O.V. Planet, which recently created and produced the Wave to the World (2000) All-Star Celebrity Recording and Video “Spirit of Life” for the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. “Spirit of Life” has earned, to date, the prestigious Videographer and Aurora Awards, the NY Film Festival Bronze Award, and the Telly Award. With a number of projects on his slate, Cozart is also producing the feature film Baby of the Family (2002), which will star the award-winning Alfre Woodard. The film is inspired by award-winning author Tina McElroy Ansa’s book of the same name and will be directed by ‘Joneé Ansa’. Cozart is also producing and starring in the upcoming feature film What’s Going On? (2003) (Marvin Gaye) with legendary songwriter Ed Townsend consulting, and is producing a unique documentary multi-part series based on the African-American Vernacular Art books called “Souls Grown Deep.”
Among his other creative pursuits, the multi-talented Cozart is completing his first co-produced music CD on which he sings lead vocals and has composed two original songs. He is also an active partner and celebrity spokesperson for a new, innovative, manufacturing company, The Original Ballbag Co., whose products are licensed by the NBA, NBA.com, Tommy Hilfiger, and others. Today, basketball continues to be one of Cozart’s personal passions; he is the back-to-back 3-Point Shooting Champion and Team Captain for the NBA Entertainment League and is also Team Captain of the Hollywood Knights Celebrity Basketball Tour.
His compassion, understanding and capacity to give are exemplified by his devotion to utilizing his celebrity status to advocate and support numerous charities and humanitarian events. Cozart is a spokesperson for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is the founder of the “Hoops for Hope” Basketball Charity Game, a non-profit star-studded event. He is founder of the “Cylk Cozart Celebrity Classic All-Star Basketball Game” to benefit the Toni Stroman Fund, and is a celebrity spokesperson for the National Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He is also a celebrity supporter for the National Tourette Syndrome Association, The Lupus Foundation of America, The National Indian Council, and others, along with numerous non-profit celebrity sports tournaments and fund-raisers. In recognition of his outstanding charitable efforts and accomplishments, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
In February 2013 Cylk co-founded Cure4Hunger.org as their CEO & Co-Chairman. Cure4Hunger is the world’s first legitimate and affordable cure for global hunger by integrating 7-technolgies into 1 sustainable solution. One acre of Cure4Hunger Food & Water Domes feeds 58,000 starving people 365 days a year.