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NECC Student Stars in New Movie “Champions”

Submitted by on March 15, 2023 – 1:35 pm

James Day Keith might be a familiar face if you’ve spent much time on the Haverhill Campus of Northern Essex Community College. In addition to taking classes, he works in the cafe in the Spurk Building. Now, Keith is getting recognized for a new reason: he has a role in the new sports comedy “Champions,” starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Bobby Farrelly.

James poses in front of backdrop with the movie title "Champions" written on it

James Day Keith poses at the premiere of “Champions.”

The movie follows Harrelson’s character, Marcus Marokovich, an assistant basketball who lets his temper get the best of him during a game and shoves the head coach. After leaving the stadium, he gets drunk at a local bar, and while driving home, he hits a police car, ending up in jail. The judge gives Marokovich a choice: 18 months in prison or 90 days of community service with a local community center’s intellectually challenged basketball team, The Friends. Marokovich chooses The Friends.

Keith plays a member of The Friends, Benny. He told the Eagle Tribune that he heard about the role through his mother, Kathleen. She organizes the North Andover Special Olympics basketball team, on which Keith has played since he was young. The national Special Olympics organization sent the casting call, and Keith decided, “why not!?” His mother filmed his audition and sent it in. The rest, as they say, is history.

View James Day Keith’s interview with WCVB here.

“Champions” is in theaters now.