"1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story" Signs "Wizards of Waverly Place" Star David Henrie, Beau Bridges and Jean Louisa Kelly for Lead Roles

Independent Film Chronicles True Story of Gettysburg College Basketball Player's Dramatic Return to the Court After Catastrophic Stroke; Production Commences October 2 on Historic Pennsylvania Campus; Six-Time Grammy(R) Winner Arturo Sandoval to Compose Score

David Henrie (Wizards of Waverly Place) will play the lead in 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story, the true story of a young basketball player who suffered a catastrophic stroke as a freshman at Gettysburg College but through determination and an indomitable spirit returned to the court for one remarkable moment in the last game of his senior year. The chances of him surviving the stroke at all were bleak. The odds of him returning to the court were astronomical. Multiple Emmy nominee Beau Bridges (Without Warning: The James Brady Story, The Descendants) stars as the Gettysburg College basketball coach George Petrie and Jean Louisa Kelly (Mr. Holland’s Opus, Yes, Dear) plays Cory’s mother Tina, a physical therapist who became her son’s partner in a long recovery.

Legendary trumpet player and six-time Grammy Award winner Arturo Sandoval, who won an Emmy for the score to the HBO film of his own life story, For Love or Country (starring Andy Garcia), will compose and record the score for the film.

1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story is produced by former longtime Disney executive Bruce Gordon and Bob Burris (Growing Pains), who also wrote the script, and will be directed by Michael Levine (Nowhere Man). Film is a production of Gettysburg Great Productions, LLC, a subsidiary of Gettysburg College.

1,000 to 1 tells the inspiring true story of Weissman, a 1,000-point high school basketball star, who suffered a catastrophic, life-threatening stroke at the end of his freshman year leaving him paralyzed on the left side. Three years later, in the last game of his senior year, improbably, even impossibly, Weissman returned to the basketball court. Gettysburg basketball coach George Petrie's plan was simple. Non-playing, still-recovering, co-captain Weissman would be a starter, would hear his name announced and then, to avoid any possibility of injury, would be immediately removed from the game after the opening tap.

When Weissman's name was announced and he walked to the center circle the crowd erupted. When a beaming Weissman was quickly replaced the cheering intensified: a raucous celebration of the triumphant climax of one extraordinary young athlete’s s utterly unlikely journey and the impact he had made on his family, his team, his school, even the teams he played against.

With Gettysburg up by a commanding lead, Coach Petrie made the fateful decision to put Weissman back in for the game’s remaining seconds. But for opposing Washington College coach Rob Nugent, the story was not yet complete. Nugent instructed his players to deliberately foul Weissman. In his last season, in his last game, he finally had a chance to score the first – and only – point of his collegiate basketball career. What happened next rivals the most emotional moments in sport.

Weissman’s moment was covered by dozens of national media outlets including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times.

“For all those who still see sports as a worthwhile pursuit, a metaphor for life and who sometimes find in our college athletes those qualities we all aspire to…Cory Weissman’s story of personal determination and the sportsmanship exhibited by his coach, his teammates and the opposing team will make for a remarkable movie experience,” said Gordon and Burris.

"That was the most confident shot of my basketball career," Weissman said. "I thought to myself: 'After three years of hard work and all I've been through, there's no way this ball's not going in.'"

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Maggie Begley, MBC, Office: 310.301.1785, Mobile: 310.749.3055 

Nikki Rhoads, Gettysburg College, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Kendra Martin, Gettysburg College, director of communications & media relations, 717.337.6801

Posted: Wed, 12 Sep 2012