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Highlight Reel: Part III


The world of Hollywood often mimics the NBA world with their larger-than-life plots and characters


A good basketball movie can often spark off a new generation of hoops fans, with their ability to simultaneously entertain and inspire. With the hype surrounding the latest basketball film in ‘Uncle Drew’, here are a few classics not to be missed.


Heaven is a Playground: Based on Rick Telander’s classic book bearing the same title, the show focused on the trials, tribulations and growing pains of a group of Chicago youths as they try to earn collegiate basketball scholarships. While the book was based on streetball in Brooklyn and featured local legends and future pros Fly Williams and Albert King, the film famously cast Loyola Marymount standout and NBA player Bo Kimble in a leading role that was initially intended for Michael Jordan, who pulled out before production started. 


Coach Carter: Similarly inspired by a true story, the film was lauded for emphasizing the right values for youngsters. Richmond High School in California was undefeated with a serious chance at the state championship before coach Ken Carter decided to suspend the entire team for failing to meet academic standards set out before the season began. This unusual act placed the youth coaching system in perspective, highlighting the importance of education with sports as a platform. 


30 for 30: The ESPN mini-documentary series are not solely focused on hoops, but include a few gems from the world of basketball. ‘Survive and Advance’ shared the story of Jim Valvano’s inspiring NC State Wolfpack and their 1983 NCAA championship run while ‘Guru of Go’ was on the insanely fast-paced Loyola Marymount offense led by coach Paul Westhead. ‘Once Brothers’ introduced the poignant tale of the storied Yugoslavian national basketball team, which was once considered the best in the world before it was torn apart by Civil War.