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Basketball Movies to Watch Between March Madness Games

March Madness is in full swing. But if your team gets eliminated early, or your bracket’s completely busted after day one, you’re likely missing out on that “one shining moment.” But luckily, there are plenty of basketball movies to help fill that craving in between games!

Basketball is one of the most popular sports around the world. And it has inspired numerous films that celebrate the game’s athleticism, drama, and emotion. From stories of underdog teams to tales of individual triumph, there is no shortage of movies that capture the spirit of basketball. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best basketball movies of all time.

Hoosiers (1986)

Directed by David Anspaugh, Hoosiers is a classic sports film that tells the story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that defies the odds to win the state championship. Starring Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper, this movie is a heartwarming tale of determination, teamwork, and resilience.

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Space Jam (1996)

Space Jam is a live-action/animated comedy that stars Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters. In this movie, Bugs Bunny recruits Jordan to help the Tunes win a basketball game against a team of aliens who have stolen the talents of several NBA players. Space Jam is a fun and entertaining film that combines basketball and cartoon characters in a unique and entertaining way. ’90s kids rejoice!

And if you’re craving even more Looney Tunes hoops action, the 2021 sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (starring LeBron James) may also be worth your time.

He Got Game (1998)

Directed by Spike Lee, He Got Game stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate who is given a week of parole to persuade his son Jesus (played by NBA star Ray Allen) to attend the governor’s alma mater. The movie is a powerful exploration of the pressure and exploitation that young athletes face, as well as the complex relationship between fathers and sons.

Glory Road (2006)

Glory Road explores the true story surrounding the events leading up to the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship as Texas Western coach Don Haskins (played by Josh Lucas) leads the first all-black starting line-up in NCAA history to the national championship game. The film explores issues of racism, student athlete politics, and how sport transcends life. Also starring Derek Luke, Mehcad Brooks, and Jon Voight.

Coach Carter (2005)

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Coach Carter is based on the true story of Ken Carter, a high school basketball coach who took a controversial stand by benching his undefeated team due to poor academic performance. The movie is a moving tribute to the importance of education and discipline, as well as the transformative power of sports.

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Directed by Ron Shelton, White Men Can’t Jump is a classic comedy-drama starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as two street basketball hustlers in Los Angeles. The movie explores issues of race, class, and identity. Rosie Perez also stars, and the film features some of the most authentic basketball scenes in film history, using real former college players and live pick-up games.

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Love & Basketball (2000)

Starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, Love & Basketball is a romantic drama that tells the story of two childhood friends who become basketball stars and fall in love. The movie, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a celebration of both basketball and romance, cementing itself as a true cult classic.

Above the Rim (1994)

Directed by Jeff Pollack, Above the Rim is a crime drama that stars Duane Martin as Kyle Lee Watson, a talented high school basketball player who is torn between loyalty to his drug-dealing brother and his dream of playing college basketball. The movie is a gritty and intense portrayal of the harsh realities faced by many young athletes, and features a stirring performance from Tupac Shakur as Birdie.

The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, and featuring Mark Wahlberg, The Basketball Diaries is a biographical drama based on the life of Jim Carroll, a poet and musician who struggled with drug addiction in his youth. The movie is a raw and honest depiction of the challenges faced by young people growing up in urban environments, and explores how the choices we make in our youth can have lasting ripple effects.

Basketball Movies

Of course, the best basketball action this time of year comes from the magic of March Madness. But if your bracket is already busted and you’re looking for a little relief, these basketball movies are well worth your time.

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