* Recommended Titles
High School Hero (1927)… Nick Stuart, Sally Phipps, William Bailey, John Darrow, Wade Boteler. Pete Greer and Bill Merrill try to win the affections of Eleanor Barrett through the high school play and in the big game.
Campus Confessions (1938)… William Henry, Betty Grable, Thurston
Hall, Fritz Feld, John Arledge, Lane Chandler, Roy Gordon, Matty Kemp. Silly
The Basketball Fix (1951)… John Ireland, Marshall Thompson, Vanessa Brown, William Bishop, John Sands. A college basketball star (Johnny Long) reluctantly accepts money from a big time gambler (Mike Taft) and becomes involved in point shaving. A sportswriter, who tells the story from his point of view, tries to get him back on the right track. Pretty good effort for the time.
Go, Man, Go (1954)… Dane Clark, Pat Breslin, Sidney Poitier,
Tall Story (1960)… Anthony Perkins, Jane Fonda, Ray Walston, Marc
Connelly, Anne Jackson, Murray Hamilton. Fonda (in film debut) falls for
Professor (1961)… Fred MacMurray, Leon Ames, Edward
Andrews, Raymond Bailey, Paul Frees, Forrest Lewis, Jack Mullaney, Nancy
Olson, Ed Wynn, Keenan Wynn. A popular Disney action film starring the
inimitable Fred MacMurray as the addled professor who invents a miraculous
anti-gravity substance he calls "flubber." It gets used
to, among other things, propel his college's basketball team to victory and
send his Model T on a flight around
Drive, He Said (1972)… William Tepper, Karen Black, Michael Margotta,
Bruce Dern, David Ogden Stiers. Drama (directorial debut by Jack Nicholson)
Maurie (1973)… Bernie Casey, Bo Svenson. True story of Cincinnati
Royals star and 1958 Rookie of the Year Maurice Stokes and his battle with
paralysis (from an accidental blow to the head) that cut his career short in
the late 50s. Svenson plays teammate Jack Twyman who dedicated himself to
Stokes' rehab. Originally known as
Shirts/Skins (1973)… Bill Bixby, Doug McClure, Leonard Frey, Rene Auberjonois, McLean Stevenson, Robert Walden, Loretta Switt, Audrey Christie. A weekly pick-up basketball game turns into a dumb hide-and-seek contest of egos. Good cast but below average script. Warning: these guys cannot play ball.
The Gambler (1974)… James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Lauren Hutton, Morris Carnovsky, Burt Young, Vic Tayback, Steven Keats, James Woods, Stuart Margolin. A college professor's compulsive gambling habit forces a star basketball player to shave points in the big game. Average at best. Announcers Dick Schaap and Chick Hearn have cameos.
Mixed Company (1974)… Barbara Harris, Joseph Bologna, Tom Bosley. Comedy of perennially losing Phoenix Suns coach coping with his adopted children.
Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)… Moses Gunn, Bernie Casey, Rosalind Cash, Madge Sinclair, Keith Wilkes, Tierre Turner. Overly dramatic story of youth trying to escape the ghetto on a basketball scholarship. Plot turns away from the sport after the police accidentally shoot him. Also known as Hit the Open Man.
One On One (1977)… Robby Benson, Annette O'Toole, G.D.Spradlin, Gail Strickland, Melanie Griffith. Small town high school star Henry Steele tries to make it big in college despite corruption and a tough coach. The film tries to show how a clean-cut athlete can rise above the establishment and succeed. Not bad with some realistic basketball scenes.
Coach (1978)… Cathy Lee Crosby, Michael Biehn, Keenan Wynn,
Fast Break (1979)… Gabe Kaplan, Harold Sylvester, Bernard King, Mike
Warren. College coach Kaplan recruits
The American Game (1979)… Stretch Graham, Brian Walker, Nathaniel
Bellamy Jr., Gil Ferschtman, Julius Erving. Feature-length documentary follows
the paths of two high school stars, one from a small town
The Fish That Saved
Inside Moves (1980)… John Savage, David Morse, Diana Scarwid, Amy Wright, Tony Burton, Bill Henderson, Bert Remsen, Harold Russell. Basketball is secondary in drama of confused youth trying to find himself. Might be a bit too emotional for it’s own good. Clifford Ray, Al Attles, Robert Parrish and Jo Jo White have cameos.
The Harlem Globetrotters On Gilligan’s
That Championship Season (1982)… Bruce Dern, Stacy Keach, Robert Mitchum, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Arthur Franz. Disappointing attempt to adapt Arthur Miller's fine play to the big screen. Story centers on reunion of 1957 Scranton PA high school champion basketball team and their coach – and what they find out about themselves.
* Hoosiers (1986)… Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper.
Hackman coaches a 1950's
Teen Wolf (1985)… Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Scott Paulin, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine, Jim MacKrell. Hokey comedy about teenage werewolf Scott Howard, but worth seeing once for his on-the-court transformation. Forget the sequel.
Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987)… Jamie Lee Curtis, Alex English, Gregory Peck, William L. Peterson, Joshua Zuehlke, Dennis Lipscombe, Lee Richardson. A little league pitcher quits the team until all nuclear weapons are destroyed. English plays Boston Celtic star Amazing Grace Smith who joins him. Worth a view but only if you have a vivid imagination. Celtics coach Red Auerbach has a cameo.
* Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (1991)… Adam Guier, Millie Perkins,
Nick Benedict, Boots
Heaven is a Playground (1991)… Explores the roots of inner city basketball more recently seen in the documentary Hoop Dreams. The plot revolves around Truth Harrison who, on the verge of signing his first pro contract, becomes addicted to cocaine. No major stars here as Michael Jordan was originally contracted to play the lead. Based on the 1974 Rick Telander book of the same name. Bo Kimble, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kendall Gill and other NBA players appear.
One Special Victory (1991)… John Larroquette, Kathy Baker, Christine Estabrook, Dirk Blocker, Gregory Millar, Joseph Asaro, Beah Richards, Ray Walston, Phil Hartman. Cocky executive salesman gets in trouble and is sentenced to coach a mentally handicapped basketball team. TV-movie is based on a true story.
* White Men Can't Jump (1992)… Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell. Comedy film is entertaining and fast-paced with snappy dialog and outstanding athleticism throughout. Directed and written by Ron Shelton who was also responsible for Bull Durham. The opening hustle is the highlight but you got to also love the Venice Beach Boys. Alex Trebek and Chick Hearn have cameos.
Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story (1992)… Victor Love, Duane Davis, George Kennedy, Nell Carter. True story of Hank Gathers from Loyola Marymount who collapsed and died during an NCAA tournament game. Plot revolves around two rivals who become friends. Stanley Clark did the score. Made for TV-movie worth seeing once.
* Blue Chips (1994)… Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, J.T.Walsh, Ed
O'Neill, Shaquille O'Neill, Anfernee Hardaway, Matt Nover, Bob Cousy. The dark
side of college recruitment includes money laundering and under-the-table
payoffs. Nolte (North Dallas Forty) gives another fine performance as
coach Pete Bell. Written by Ron Shelton (Bull
The Air Up There (1994)… Kevin Bacon, Charles Gitonga. Assistant college coach Jimmy Dolan spots a talented African youngster on film and travels halfway around the world to recruit him and becomes involved with his Winabi tribe's local problems. Filmed on location in Toronto, Kenya and South Africa. Bob McAdoo served as technical advisor. Not bad.
Hoop Dreams (1994)… William Gates, Arthur Agee. The true story of two
young men (playing themselves) seeking athletic scholarships at Catholic High
School with dreams of playing in the NBA. A slice of real life hits home with pressing
academic, sociological and religious issues. Also provides insight into high
school and college recruitment. Documentary style filming might be letdown to
those expecting big
Above the Rim (1994)… Duane Martin, Leon, Tupac Shakur, David Bailey,
Tonya Pinkins, Marlon Wayans, Bernie Mac, Byron Minns.
* Basketball Diaries (1995)… Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Bruno
Kirby, Marilyn Sokol, Mark Wahlberg, James Modio, Ernie Hudson. More crime and
drugs than basketball, the movie is still worth a look for the remarkable performance
of DiCaprio, the
Annie O (1995)… Rob Stewart, Coco
Slam Dunk Ernest (1995)… Jim Varney, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jay Brazeau. Local player struggles to make his neighborhood team until a basketball angel lends him some magic shoes. Fourth film (and hopefully last) in the "Ernest" series.
* Celtic Pride (1996)… Damon Wayans, Daniel Stern, Dan Aykroyd, Gail
O'Grady. Two confused Celtic fans -- a frustrated high school coach and a
lonely plumber -- decide to kidnap star Utah Jazz player Lewis Scott before
game #7 of the NBA finals. The basketball version of The King of Comedy
is worth seeing since it does have has it's moments but runs out of steam in
the second half. Filmed at the old Boston Garden. Demolition of the Garden can
be seen during the closing credits. Cameos by Marv Alpert, Chris Berman, Larry
Bird, Bob Cousy, Deion Sanders and Bill Walton. Don't forget to Meet the
* Space Jam (1996)… Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Bill Murray and Wayne Knight with Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Mugsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson. The Tune Stars take on the Monstars in the wildest basketball game you'll ever want to see. The kids will love it. Features many cameos including the complete Looney Tunes cartoon lineup from Warner Brothers.
* Eddie (1996)… Whoopie Goldberg, Frank Langella, Dennis Farina, Richard Jenkins with John Salley, Rick Fox, Malik Sealy, Mark Jackson, Dwayne Schintzius and Greg Ostertag. Super fan Eddie Franklin becomes head coach of the New York Knicks by being in the right place at the right time. Features numerous cameos of NBA stars and New York celebrities. Suitable for the kids too.
* Rebound (1996)… Don Cheadle, James Earl Jones, Michael Beach,
Clarence Williams III, Eriq La Salle,
Soul in the Hole (1996)… A documentary on one of the top inner-city street basketball team, Kenny's Kings, coached by Kenny Jones and led by 17-year-old star point guard Ed "Booger" Smith. Smith was once on the cover of Sports Illustrated but drugs and poor decisions tore up his life.
The 6th Man (1997)… Marlon Wayans, Kadeem Hardison, David Paymer, Michael Michele, Kevin Dunn, Gary Jones. Disney's fantasy about a dead college basketball star returning to help his brother and the Washington Huskies to the NCAA championship. Film suffers from poor script and dialog, especially from the idiot announcers and assistant coach. Nice special effects though with a few funny bits thrown in. Jerry Tarkanian, John Thompson, Billy Packer, Dick Vitale and others have cameos. Not bad.
Air Bud (1997)… Kevin Zegers, Wendy Makkena, Michael Jeter, Bill Cobbs, Eric Christmas. Buddy, a golden retriever, runs away from his mean owner, befriends a 12-year-old boy and becomes the mascot for the school basketball team. Disney comedy is once again strictly for the kids.
Bad as I Wanna Be: The Dennis Rodman Story (1998)… Dwayne Adway,
Daniel Hugh Kelly, Dee Wallace Stone, John Terry. Rodman narrates his own story
of an all-star in the NBA who rose from the
* He Got Game (1998)… Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich, Rosario Dawson, Hill Harper, Zelda Harris, Jim Brown, Bill Nunn, John Turturro. Emotional story of an ex-con trying to inspire his unforgiving, but very talented son to play basketball. The film plays on this relationship, in and out of flashback, but also points to the extreme pressure today's world places on aspiring athletes. Allen, of the Milwaukee Bucks, proves to be more than adequate in his first starring role. Fellow NBA players Travis Best, Rick Fox, John Wallace and Walter McCarty also appear with cameos by Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal. Spike Lee's crowning achievement to date.
Baseketball (1998)… Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Yasmine Bleeth, Jenny McCarthy, Robert Vaughn, Robert Stack, Ernest Borgnine. A couple of losers invent a new game in their driveway combining basketball shooting with baseball scoring rules. It catches on and they become national celebrities. From the creators of South Park and Naked Gun but the language is too strong for the kiddies. Too bad because the kids are the only ones who could possibly like it. Cameos by Reggie Jackson, Tim McCarver, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dale Earnhardt, Al Michaels, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick and Kenny Mayne. Psyche Out, Dude!
City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal (1998)… HBO documentary about the seven members of the City College of New York (CCNY) basketball team who conspired with gamblers to fix games over the 1949-1950 and 1950-1951 seasons.
Big and Hairy (1998)… Robert Burke, Trevor Jones, Greg Thirloway, Richard Thomas. A boy convinces a Sasquatch to join his struggling basketball team. Good fun for the whole family.
* Passing Glory (1999)… Andre Braugher, Rip Torn, Ruby
* The Basket (1999)… Peter Coyote, Karen Allen, Robert Karl Burke, Amber Willenborg, Jock MacDonald, Elwon Bakly, Jack Bannon, Casey Cowan, Eric Dane, Tony Lincoln, Brian Skala, Ellen Travolta, Joey Travolta, Patrick Treadway. Shortly after World War I, a new teacher brings basketball to the school. A wholesome family movie.
Game Day (1999)… Richard Lewis, Sean Squire, Gerry Becker, Alicia Minshew, Brenton Birmingham, Lee Bryan, Valorie Hubbard, Hillel Meltzer. Steven Adler is a former successful Division 1 basketball coach forced into taking a job in a second-rate town after several championship game losses. But he also takes his new team to the finals and tries to find meaning in his own life. Definitely worth a look.
Michael Jordan: An American Hero (1999)… Michael Jace, Robin Givens,
Ernie Hudson, Debbie Allen, Christopher Jacobs, Lou Rawls, Cordereau Dye, Dari
G. Smith. Bland made-for-cable movie is part fiction since
That Championship Season (1999)… Vincent D'Onofrio, Terry Kinney,
* Michael Jordan to the Max (2000)… Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Doug Collins, Bob Greene, Bob Costas, Dean Smith, Deloris Jordan, Fred Lynch, Walter Iooss Jr., Bill Murray, Laurence Fishburne. A documentary on the life and career of Michael Jordan, through interviews with Jordan, teammates and friends, focusing on the 1998 championship series. Very well done. David Falk, Ken Griffey Jr., Johnny 'Red' Kerr, Steve Kerr, Spike Lee, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Jack Ramsay and Ahmad Rashad have cameos.
* Finding Forrester (2000)… Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray
Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes, April Grace, Michael Pitt, Michael Nouri,
Richard Easton. Jamal Wallace, an excellent basketball player with exceptional
writing talent, is sent to a prestigious prep school in
Love & Basketball (2000)… Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Dennis Haysbert, Debbi Morgan, Alfre Woodard, Harry J. Lennix, Regina Hall. Pretty good story about a couple’s love affair and also the commitment to the sport they both love. Former NBA players Charles O'Bannon, Terry Cummings and Trevor Wilson and announcers Chick Hearn, Stu Lantz, Dick Vitale and Robin Roberts have cameos. Worth seeing.
Whatever Happened to Micheal Ray? (2000)… Chris Rock narrates a documentary on Micheal Ray Richardson who played guard for New York Knicks (1978-82), Golden State Warriors (1982-83) and New Jersey Nets (1983-86) and made the all-star team. In 1986 NBA commissioner David Stern banned him for life after he violated the league's drug policy three times. He was restored in 1988, but failed two cocaine tests in 1991. He complained that the suspensions were unfair given the fact that because a white player at the time was never disciplined for an alcohol problem.
On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of
Harvard Man (2001)… Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey
Lauren Adams, Eric Stoltz, Rebecca Gayheart, Gianni Russo, Ray Allen. A
Boys Klub (2001)…
O (2001)… Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles, Elden Henson, Martin Sheen, Andrew Keegan, Rain Phoenix, John Heard, Anthony Johnson. Shakespeare’s Othello update with Odin 'O' James and Hugo Goulding as the lead characters displaying friendship and jealousy in high school. A young man’s best friend lies and says that his beautiful girlfriend is cheating on him leading to horrific results. The film was completed in 1998, but its release date was held back due to recent high school violence. Warning: Disturbing content including murder and rape should not be shown to children.
Hoop Soldiers (2001)… Byron Browne, Ahmed Cannon, Angelica Frost, Larry 'Tank' Jones, Cassandra King. A lawyer returns to her hometown to investigate the mysterious death of her brother, who was involved in underground, boxing/basketball matches.
* A Season on the Brink (2002)… Brian Dennehy, Al Thompson, James
Lafferty, Duane Murray, Gary Hudson, Benz Antoine, Phoenix Gonzales, Patrick
Williams, Thomas Hauff, Dan Becker, Manfred Maretzki, Chad Bruce. TV-movie
about controversial basketball coach Bobby Knight is based on the best-selling
book by John Feinstein. The movie chronicles
Red Sneakers (2002)… Dempsey Pappion, Vanessa
Crossing the Line (2002)… Terry Farrell, Adrian Pasdar. Farrell plays a former All-American basketball player who lands a job as assistant coach for a three-time championship girls' high school basketball team. After the head coach has a heart attack, she takes over and clashes with several parents who push their daughters to win at all costs. After one parent slugs a ref in the mouth at one game and an ugly brawl breaks out between players' parents during at another game, she realizes she must take a stand. This riveting drama explores the question: What happens when parents go too far in pushing their kids? Well done.
King of the
Streets: The Ed "Booger" Smith Story (2002)… Booger Smith was a
:03 from Gold (2002)… HBO documentary on the controversial US-USSR game in the Munich Olympics.
Something to Cheer About (2002)… Documentary on the Crispus Attucks Tigers, the first all-black high school basketball team to win a state championship.
Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie (2002)…
David Krumholtz, Tory Kittles, Jennifer Morrison, Nicholas Turturro, Zachary
Levi. Benny Silman, an
Double Teamed (2002)… Poppi Monroe, Annie McElwain, Teal Redmann, Nick Searcy, Tanya Goott, Joey Miyashima, Mackenzie Phillips, Chris Olivero. The true story of WNBA players Heather and Heidi Burge. They begin to develop their volleyball skills at an inner-city school but then transfer to a bigger school and wind up playing basketball instead. Very good Disney movie.
Don’t Nobody Love the Game More than Me (2002)… Barry Bradford, Craig Alan Edwards, Guy A. Fortt, Ezra Knight. A pick-up game of two-on-two on the neighborhood court turns into a dialogue about who loves the game the most and leads to riffs on not just basketball, but on pride and dedication.
Juwanna Mann (2002)… Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Vivica A. Fox, Tommy Davidson, Kevin Pollak, Ginuwine, Kim Wayans, Kimberly Jones, Annie Corley, Omar J. Dorsey. Jamal Jeffries is kicked out of the NBA and then dresses up like a woman to try out for the woman's basketball league. He then falls for one of his teammates.
Like Mike (2002)… Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Jesse Plemons, Anne Meara, Da Brat. Youngster Calvin buys a magical pair of sneakers that were once worn by Michael Jordan. The shoes transform the kid into a professional player with a fictional NBA team called the Knights. Karl Malone has a cameo.
Full Court Miracle (2003)… Richard T. Jones, Alex D. Linz. Disney TV-movie based on the true story of Lamont Carr. A Jewish school is in desperate need of a basketball coach and the players convince Carr, a former CBA player, to coach them while he waits for a tryout with the 76ers. Jerome Williams appears as himself.
Skywalker: The David Thompson Story
(2004)… Documentary on the life
of David Thompson – from a poor childhood to college and NBA star (
Prison Ball (2004)… Cheeky Black, Jewels, Doo Wop, Headbussa, S-Man, Birdman, Shot, Marcus Clay, Diddy, Tyrodrick Brown, Vicious Black, Fatty. Narrated by Ice-T. Documentary about basketball in the American Prison System.
The Cookout (2004)… Ja Rule, Tim Meadows, Jenifer Lewis, Quran Pender, Jonathan Silverman. Todd Anderson signs a $30 million deal with the New Jersey Nets and decides to throw a big party to celebrate.
* Coach Carter (2005)… Samuel
L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Robert Ri’chard, Rick Gonzalez,
Rebound (2005)… Martin Lawrence, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Oren Williams, Breckin Meyer, Horatio Sanz, Megan Mullally. Lawrence plays a once-successful college coach who is fired after a losing streak and a bad attitude that gets him into trouble. To prove himself, he starts at the bottom as the new coach of a junior high team that hasn't won a game in 12 years. The basketball scenes are not done too well and most of the comedy falls flat.
Through the Fire (2005)… Asher Beard, Nyan Boateng, Renan Ebeid, Dwight Howard, Jay-Z. ESPN documentary about basketball star Sebastian Telfair who has to decide whether to attend college or turn pro in order to get his family out of the projects.
* Glory Road (2006)… Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, John Voight. The dramatized true story of the Texas Western College Miners (now called the University of Texas at El Paso) men’s basketball team, which fielded history's first all African-American starting lineup of players to take a Division I national championship, and surprisingly winning the 1966 NCAA tournament title. Hall of Famer Don Haskins was the zealous coach who changed the history of college basketball with his team's victory only two years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The team started five black players and defeated the all white University of Kentucky team (known as “Rupp’s Runts”), coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp. Great period soundtrack too. [Four of the Miners in the 1966 title game – David Lattin (16 points), Willie Worsley (8), Willie Cager (8) and Nevil Shed (3) – were drafted by the NBA. Lattin played five years and Worsley one while Cager and Shed were cut in training camp. The others in the game were Bobby Joe Hill (20), Orsten Artis (15), Harry Flournoy (injured early).]
30 Days (2006)… Ellen Burstyn, Taye Diggs, Hill Harper, Charlie Neal, Da Brat, Roscoe Orman, Abdul Yoba. After a game between rival basketball teams becomes violent, an African-American player and a white player are sentenced to perform 30 days of community service in each other's neighborhoods. Directed by former Black Panther activist Jamal Joseph.
Church Ball (2006)… Fred Willard, Andrew Wilson, Clint Howard, Gary Coleman, Amy Stewart, Larry Bagby, with cameos by Hot Rod Hundley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The local Mormon bishop declares that since this is to be the last season of formal church ball competition, he doesn’t intend to go down as the losingest congregation in church ball history! The team of misfits must transform itself to meet the bishop’s demand. Have you seen Hoosiers?
Crossover (2006)… Anthony Mackie, Wesley Jonathan, Wayne Brady, Kristen Wilson, Eva Pigford, Little JJ, Allen Payne. Two basketball players, one heading to college, the other just hoping to get this GED, play for respect in the land of urban street ball. Think of “Hooisers” and “Above the Rim” in one movie.
The Heart of the Game (2006)… Chris Bridges (Ludacris) (Narrator), Devon Crosby Helms, Maude Lepley, Bill Resler, Darnellia Russell, Joyce Walker. This full-length documentary follows the girls' basketball team at Seattle's Roosevelt High School, which, against the odds, formed a mini-dynasty for several years. Director Ward Serrill filmed for a year, hanging out at practices and games; capturing, in Coach Resler's words, how "it's not about winning and losing, but about how hard you tried, how you overcome obstacles, emotionally how you rely on other girls and how they rely on you." Maybe not a "Hoop Dreams," but it's got emotion, especially in the plot line about the star player's struggle to play the game she loves.
Like Mike 2: Streetball (2006)… Jascha Washington, Kel Mitchell, Michael Beach, Brett Kell, Micah Williams, Moneca Delain, Lexi Lopez. This is a direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2002 Like Mike. A pair of magical high tops, with the mysterious initials "MJ" written in them, give a young player the ability to dominate the streetball world. He is quickly discovered and sets out with a touring streetball team. As fame and fortune grow, he gets conceited and alienated from his family and friends. Jascha Washington, taking over from rapper Bow Wow, is likable and the new story is actually more believable than the original. The film features cameo appearances by former NBA pro Clyde Drexler and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
The Real: Rucker Park Legends (2006)… Documentary about famous Rucker Park from its crude neighborhood start through its heyday in the '60s and '70s and then to its more commercial times. Wilt Chamberlin, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and streetball legends like Earl "The Goat" Manigault, Herman 'Helicopter' Knowlings and Joe "The Destroyer" Hammond all played here among many others.
John Tucker Must Die (2006)… Sophia Bush, Brittany Snow, Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti Douglas, Jenny McCarthy, Arielle Kebbe. Three jilted high school lovers plot to break the heart of the school’s basketball star after they find out he has been triple-timing them.
Home of the Giants (2007)… Haley Joel Osment, Ryan Merriman, Danielle Panabaker, Kenneth Mitchell, Brent Briscoe.
Semi-Pro (2008)… Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin, Maura Tierney, Andrew Daley, Will Arnett, Andy Richter. Comedy about the owner-coach-player (Jackie Moon) of the ABA’s Flint Michigan Tropics and how they became a member on the NBA. Interesting but mostly for Farrell fans. All of the team names and uniforms are the same as the real ABA except for the featured team.
4Chosen (2008)…Billy Zane, Laurence Fishburne.
Gunnin For That #1 Spot (2008)… Documentary that follows the top 24 high school players competing at Rucker Park in New York.
More Than A Game (2009)… Documentary about LeBron James, four of his grade school teammates and coach Dru Joyce of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The amazing story of five friends, more like brothers, and the coach whose memorable run to the 2003 high school basketball national championship made history. Dru Joyce III, known as “Little Dru,” gathered together a bunch of 5th grade kids – Sian Cotton, Willie McGee and LeBron James (Romeo Travis would join the “family” in high school) and displayed courage, failure, veracity and brotherly love that began in a Salvation Army gym with a linoleum floor. Filmmaker Kristopher Belman does a masterful job using interviews, home video footage, news coverage and photos. Talking about the film, Coach Dru said, “The whole experience is very humbling. What we hope people take from this is that their dreams can come true. For us, it happened through basketball. I truly believe that God gives each of us a dream. Whatever it is for you, pursue it.” – Sr. Hosea Rupprecht, FSP
Streetballers (2009)… Jimmy McKinney, Matt Krentz, Adrieanne Perez, Eric Fletcher, Craig Thomas, Patrick Rooney, Justin Tatum. Imdb.com: Constantly searching for sanity in the midst of alcoholism, racism, and drugs, two junior college basketball players find release and therapy while competing at one of the most competitive street courts in the U.S.
Our Lady of Victory (2010)… Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Ellen Burstyn, Marley Shelton. From imdb.com: In the early 70s, Cathy Rush becomes the head basketball coach at a tiny, all-girls Catholic college. Though her team has no gym and no uniforms -- and the school itself is in danger of being sold -- Coach Rush looks to steer her girls to their first national championship.
Just Wright (2010)… Queen Latifa, Common, Paula Patton, James Pickens Jr., Phylisha Rashard, Pam Grier. Imdb.com: A physical therapist falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury. Many current NBA stars have cameos.
Elevate (2011)… From imdb.com: From a basketball academy in Senegal, to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenage boys with NBA dreams.
Thunderstruck (2012)… Kevin Durant, Taylor Gray, Brandon T. Jackson, Doc Shaw, Jim Belushi. A high school non-athlete magically switches abilities with Kevin Durant and becomes the star of his basketball team. Of course, the opposite affects Durant with the playoffs approaching. Great for the whole family.
Doin’ It in the Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC (2012)… Kenny Anderson, Julius Irving, Niki Avery, Pee Wee Kirkland, Jack Ryan, Kenny Smith, James Williams. A history of New York's outdoor summer basketball play.
Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (2013)… Documentary based on the story of Kevin Laue, the first one-armed scholarship basketball player in the history of college basketball. He began playing Division I basketball for Manhattan College in 2009.
Sweetwater (2014)… James Caan, Wood Harris, Bert Belasco, Cylk Cozart. The life of Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton, the first black player signed by the NBA in 1950.