While March Madness is almost halfway over, it doesn’t mean that basketball spirit is dimmed. At this point, all the speculative brackets have most likely been broken thanks to University of Maryland-Baltimore County defeating the top-seeded team of University of Virginia, it does not mean it’s time to stop watching. Here are some movies to keep you fired up until the final game on April 2.
“Coach Carter” (2005) is a film based on real life, starting Samuel L. Jackson as Ken Carter. He is a coach that has returned to his old high school in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, and discovers the basketball team in shambles. The students are wild, uncontrollable and chaotic, and as a result, Coach Carter implements a very strict style of basketball that goes over well with the students. After trial and tribulation, the team comes together athletically and academically, ensuring both a brighter future for students and the school. However, Samuel L. Jackson isn’t the only exciting name in this movie. Ashanti, Channing Tatum and Octavia Spencer play roles central to the story. All add to a great basketball story that address more than just the difficulties of a basketball team.
“Double Teamed” (2002) is a film that capitalizes on the very-much-undervalued history of female basketball players. This story follows the young life of Heidi and Heather Burge, who went on to be some of the first women in the Women’s National Basketball Association. Both girls are new to high school, and in an effort to earn their keep at the school, must help the girls’ basketball team win nationals. Injuries, rivalries and sisterly bonds are all tested in this movie, and while it’s only a TV movie, it doesn’t stop from inspiring strength and dedication.
“Glory Road” (2006) is a movie that is also based on true events, that takes place in the late 60s and faces the high racial tensions in the world of college athletics. A young Josh Lucas stars as Don Haskins is the new coach at Texas Western College and finds the school lacking in financial support for his basketball team. In effort make changes to the program, Haskins makes sure to recruit from all races which makes a very diverse team that raises many eyebrows. The team faces racially motivated attacks and difficult odds as they make NCAA history in their game against University of Kentucky with the first all black starters that proved the teams excellence and worth. Heartfelt and powerful Glory Road is movie that captures the spirit of basketball with a powerful message of equality.
“Hoop Dreams” (1994), unlike the other movies, is a documentary that follows the story of two African-American boys from Westchester, Illinois who get scholarships to a mostly white high school with an outstanding basketball program. You can watch both boys try to change their lives and the separate paths that they take during their journey through high school basketball. While this movie does not have the happiest of endings it shows how basketball can change lives–often for the better.
“Space Jam” (1996) is perhaps the most iconic basketball movie that is watched by all ages. This movie follows Michael Jordan as himself, a famous ex-basketball player (at the time) who is dropped into playing a basketball game with Bugs Bunny and other Loony Toon characters in order to stop them from being enslaved by an alien for his theme park. The movie has an amazing soundtrack, a cast that is most likely never to be repeated and a plot that is unlike any other. It is the best movie to get fans into March Madness.