4 Basketball Movies You Can’t Afford to Miss
Some sports do not transfer particularly well to the big screen, but that is not an accusation you can level at basketball.
Its dramatic nature provides a superb backdrop for filmmakers to work their magic, particularly if they intertwine a layer or two of interesting back stories.
With that in mind, we pick out four basketball themed movies you simply cannot afford to miss, regardless of whether you like the sport or not.
Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story
Jim Valvano’s achievement in leading North Carolina State University to the national college basketball championship in 1983 is one of the greatest sporting stories of all-time.
A recent feature by Betway perfectly encapsulated the impact Valvano had on a group of players who were not expected to compete with the top teams.
Anthony LaPaglia gives one of the best performances of his career as Valvano in Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story – a film made three years after the coach’s untimely death.
If you love a true underdog story with plenty of tear-jerking moments throw into the mix, Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story will be right up your street.
Based on the true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter, this 2005 stars Samuel L Jackson at his belligerent best.
The film focuses on Carter’s efforts to bring his undefeated team into line and the controversy he created after suspending them due to poor academic results.
The battle between Carter, his players, the school board and the local community is compelling, and the pay off at the end is well worth the wait.
We won’t spoil things by sharing the film’s conclusion other than to say it delivers one of the most powerful life lessons imaginable.
Unless you are an avid fan of sports movies, it is entirely possible that Hoosiers (released in some countries as Best Shot) will never have registered on your radar.
However, this truly is a basketball film you cannot ignore, with Gene Hackman bristling with intent in the lead role as coach Norman Dale.
In a town full of wannabe basketball coaches, Dale rips up the rule book to take an innovative approach to the way he wants the team to play.
Co-star Dennis Hopper deservedly received an Oscar nomination for his role as the basketball loving town drunk who eventually plays a key role in the team’s inspirational success.
Director James Gartner does an excellent job in shining a light on the racial issues that impacted university basketball in Texas during the 1960s.
Glory Road tells the story of coach Don Haskins, who made history by selecting seven disadvantaged African-American players in the Texas Western Miners squad.
The move inevitably went down like a lead balloon in an area not known for its diversity, but Haskins refused to bow to outside pressure.
His team finished the 1965/66 regular season with a 23–1 record and entered the NCAA tournament as one of the favourites. You will have to watch the film to see if they triumphed.