8 Elite Basketball Films That Never Get Old

Today marks the beginning of March Madness, one of my favorite times of year.  This year is extra special because my alma mater The University of Texas at San Antonio is competing in the big dance this week!

Go Runners!

For the remainder of the month, 68 college basketball teams will compete in the single elimination tournament, which will culminate on April 4 when the last two teams standing vie for the Division I Basketball Championship.

It’s an exciting time for anyone who loves the tradition, spirit and competition of college basketball and one that got me thinking of some of my favorite basketball films of all time. In the spirit of brackets, I’ve selected eight elite personal favorites that have stuck with me throughout the years.

8. Eddie (1996)

OK. OK. Sure, Eddie isn’t the best b-ball film out there, but if you’re looking for a laugh out loud, feel good comedy-  its a winner. Any fan of Whoopi Goldberg will love her portrayal as Eddie, a New York Knicks fanatic who by a twist of fate becomes the team’s new head coach, not to mention any basketball fan will love the cameos from various players from the 90s.

7.The Sixth Man (1997)

Though its been years since I’ve watched this film, it still remains a personal favorite. Marlon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison portray star players on the University of Washington basketball team, until Hardison’s character dies on the court leaving Wayans to hold the team together.  Sure, its your typical underdog sports film but there’s certain elements in The Sixth Man that make it stand out from the others.

6.Coach Carter (2005)

If Lean on Me were to meet the basketball court, then it would be Coach Carter. An instant classic for the net generation, this film is inspiring from start to finish. With an outstanding cast, led by Samuel L. Jackson- whose usual loud antics irk me– the role of Coach Carter is one that he is absolutely fit to play.  My favorite part:  Rick Gonzalez’s amazing recitation of Marianne Williamson’s poem “Our Deepest Fear”

5. Sunset Park (1996)

Back when I was young, with semi- hoop dreams, Sunset Park played a major role in my church basketball team’s locker room preparation. Before every game we’d chant “Sunset Park what time is it? It’s time to get live, it’s time to represent”, on our way to the court. Sure we lost but chanting that anthem every Saturday morning is a memory that I’ll never forget. Much like this inspiring basketball drama starring Rhea Perlman and Fredro Starr.

4. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

A classic. Underrated, but still a classic. Not your typical triumphant underdog basketball film, White Men Can’t Jump is another can’t miss film that explores social issues while infusing the game of basketball into the backdrop. Starring the dynamic duo of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, White Men Can’t Jump is always good no matter how many times you’ve watched it;  if not for the awesome basketball scenes and realistic trash talking dialogue, the wardrobe alone brings the laughs.

3. He Got Game (1998)

One of my favorites from both Denzel Washington and Spike Lee, He Got Game is a gritty depiction of the plight of an aspiring athlete (played not too shabbily by Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics), that also has Lee’s signature focus on race and class issues.  Personally, I never really appreciated this film until a few years ago as my first viewing was when I was twelve years old- maturity is a funny thing.  He Got Game is so much more than a basketball film, which is probably why it still remains one of Lee’s greatest efforts.

2. Hoosiers (1986)

If there was one film that were to go down as one of the greatest basketball films of all time, it would probably be Hoosiers.  With an amazing cast that includes Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hooper, Hoosiers, in my opinion, is one of the greatest underdog stories ever told.  Though its been years since I’ve seen Hoosiers, a film like that always stays with you.

1. Love and Basketball (2000)

‘Double or Nothin’- a line so simple yet holds so much meaning. Love and Basketball is the best of both worlds because it’s exactly what the title boasts, love and basketball. Starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, this episodic love story is one held in high regard because there truly is something for everyone. Sports, romance, comedy and drama, not to mention amazing on-screen chemistry between Epps and Lathan.

What are some of your favorite basketball films? Sound off in the comment area.

Go Runners!!


One Response to “8 Elite Basketball Films That Never Get Old”

  1. Love and basketball ❤ most perfect film ever! and 'glory road' should be on that list! xD otherwise.. great choices xD

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