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Documentary on HHS state champions to debut in newly renovated auditorium

Harold Albany, the leading scorer for the 1971-72 state champion Hendersonville High School Bearcats, is interviewed for 'The Tin Can Man,' the documentary on the HHS's 1972 state championship.

One of the greatest basketball teams in Western North Carolina history is celebrated in a short documentary film with a world premiere in Hendersonville on Friday, Aug. 5, in the auditorium and courtyard of the newly renovated Hendersonville High School campus.

"The Tin Can Man" focuses on the underdog Hendersonville High School boys’ basketball team that won the 3A state championship in 1972. It remains the only 3A championship captured by a team from the western mountain region. That season, the Bearcats, despite a 2A-sized enrollment, voluntarily moved up a classification at the same time longtime head coach Jim Pardue took a bold step into the future by starting four Black student-athletes.

"This is a great story about the power of a basketball team to unite a town and beat the odds to win a championship," said Keith Dunnavant, the producer of the Prep Legends series. Dunnavant is an acclaimed filmmaker and author of best-selling books about Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bart Starr and Joe Montana and is frequently seen as a featured historian on ESPN, SEC Network and other television channels.

The event amounts to a double premiere — of the documentary and of the newly renovated auditorium, which now has a lobby behind the stage that opens onto a new courtyard.

A limited number of tickets are available for this special event, with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. Tickets may be purchased through the Boys & Girls Club by visiting or by calling 828-693-9444.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as the benefiting agency for this exciting premiere,” said the Boys & Girls Club's executive director, Julia Hockenberry. “This is a story about opportunity, tenacity and resilience that mirrors so many stories of the youth served by our organization. It will be a great night in an amazing venue, celebrating the heart of our community, across generations.”

Presenting sponsors are Fazio Golf Design, Hunter Subaru, Morrow Insurance, Triangle Stop Food Stores, and Vista Strategies.

Tickets are $50 each and will include light refreshments at a pre-film reception, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the film screening to commence at 7:30 p.m. After the film, Dunnavant will moderate a question and answer session with members of the team.