Naperville connection to the new film “The Long Game”

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Naperville resident Jeordano “Pete” Martinez sits down with 630 Naperville host Paige Ronchetti to talk about his uncle JB. The new film “The Long Game” tells the true story of JB, and how he coached a Hispanic golf team to the 1957 Texas state championships. 

“My uncle was a very fine golfer,” says Martinez, “and when he arrived in Del Rio, he wanted to play golf. And he went to the Del Rio Country Club, which was the place. It’s really a beautiful place. And he was not allowed because he was Mexican. And so then, he managed to get this group of high school students at the Latino high school. They worked as caddies in the country club, but then on the off hours they’d go, they built their own golf course and he was impressed with them. So the whole story is how he formed them into a team.”

Pete Martinez reflects on Del Rio Texas in the 1950s

Martinez was in the fourth grade during the events of the film and living in Del Rio, Texas.

“When I was a kid, there were places I couldn’t go to because I was Mexican,” says Martinez. “You know, they didn’t care that we’re Americans. And so that’s why we had two school districts in Del Rio because the white folks didn’t want to have that strong a connection with the Latinos.”

“The Long Game” is based on the 2010 novel “Mustang Miracle”

Author Humberto G. Garcia was familiar with the story having lived in Del Rio. 

“Mr. Garcia knew my uncle,” says Martinez, “and so he knew the story. And I believe he went to that high school. It was called San Felipe High School. And they were the Mustangs. That’s why the book is called the ‘Mustang Miracle.’ Because they were the Mustangs. And he wrote the book. The book became quite popular. Oh, it’s been around for about ten years. And then somebody decided to make a big movie, a good movie, and they turned it into a movie.”

“The Long Game” was released to theaters on April 12, 2024, after premiering at South by Southwest. The film is also available on demand.