98 Basketball Movies to See Before You Die (Full List)

98 Basketball Movies to See Before You Die (Full List)

There's nothing better than a lazy Sunday with a few good basketball movies.

To help you pick them, I've put together a mega list of 98 basketball movies that all players, coaches, and fans should watch before they "kick the bucket."

Complete with documentaries, inspirational stories, films based on historical basketball events, and funny comedies, I’ve got you covered.

Here are 98 basketball movies you can watch with yourself or with your family.

98 Basketball Movies to Watch:

The Way Back (2020)

Jack Cunningham was a basketball prodigy back in high school, but for unknown reasons, he walked away from the game.

Whatever chances he had of making it in professional basketball dissipated.

If that wasn’t bad enough, his life spiraled downwards. He turned to alcohol for comfort which also became the main reason for his failed marriage.

Years later, his old school asks him to be their basketball coach and he grudgingly accepts the job.

And this just might be his shot at redemption.

Uncle Drew (2018) Movie Poster

This anti-ageist comedy revolves around Dax, a young black man who dreams of winning the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, New York.

Played by Lil Rel Howery, Dax loses his team to his arch-rival, leaving him without any allies.

But then, he meets a basketball legend by the name of Uncle Drew who convinces him to get back to the court. For teammates, Uncle Drew recruits his old basketball squad, who are now in their 70s by the way, to help Dax win his tournament.

If that’s not exciting enough, this old-people crew is played by actual basketball legends.

Thunderstruck (2012) Movie Poster

Brian is just a clumsy 16-year-old boy who loves basketball. But one day, a crazy twist of fate magically switches his basketball skills with Kevin Durant’s, his hero.

This makes him the star in his high school team, but Kevin Durant, on the other hand, couldn’t make a shot even if his life depended on it.

It’s a very interesting plot and Kevin Durant plays as himself in this movie.

Semi-Pro (2008) Movie Poster

You know a movie’s going to be quite the laugh trip when Will Ferrell is involved.

Set in 1976 and in Flint, Michigan, this movie tells the story of Jackie Moon, a basketball player who didn’t have much luck with the NBA but committed to coaching the Flint Tropics to leave his own mark.

But the American Basketball Association then was about to be absorbed by the NBA, and only 4 teams can get in.

Space Jam (1996) Movie Poster

This 1996 movie fictionalizes what happened between Michael Jordan's initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his comeback in 1995. And it’s super fun!

So what happened was that Michael Jordan was abducted by Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes squad.

It turns out that to defeat the Nerdlucks, an enemy alien group led by Mr. Swackhammer, the Looney Tunes need to win a basketball game. That’s why they need Michael Jordan’s help.

It sounds really trippy, but it’s a great movie for kids.

Glory Road (2006) Movie Poster

This movie centers around Coach Don Haskins, otherwise known as “The Bear,” and how he made history in the NCAA when he recruited seven African-American players to play for the Texas Western Miners.

These talented, though discarded, black players were criticized by everyone around them.

But they moved past that and ended up defeating Kentucky in the 1966 National Championship.

Coach Carter (2005) Movie Poster

Ken Carter used to be a star athlete in high school and at the start of the movie, he’s the owner of the local sports goods store. When his old school asks him to coach the basketball team, he agrees.

This film is based on the real-life controversy surrounding Coach Carter who benches the whole high school team for going against their academic contract.

Carter fights to maintain his methods and shows his team the necessity of good values in their futures.

He eventually finds out that he impacted them more profoundly than he could have imagined.

Love & Basketball (2000)

Produced by 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks, this is a 2000 American romantic drama that tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright.

Monica moved in next door to Quincy when they were 11. Knowing each other since childhood, they grew up together and ultimately fell for each other.

But these two lovebirds are pretty competitive when it comes to basketball. They each have a goal to pursue basketball careers and sometimes, this gets into the way of their relationship.

White Men Can't Jump (1992) Movie Poster

Billy is in debt and on the run from a group of gangsters.

To make money, he cons black guys into thinking he couldn’t play basketball to save his life and when he gets them to bet, he shows off his skills, beats them, and ends up taking the gambling money.

One day, he cons a guy named Sydney but instead of getting pissed off, Sydney volunteers to be his “agent”. So the two of them join forces in hustling.

Hoosiers DVD

This movie is based on real events about a small-town Indiana team that made their way to the finals in 1945.

It takes you through the numerous attempts of Normal Dale, a guy with a not-so-clean past who’s in charge of the highschool’s basketball program and Shooter, a drunkard assistant coach, to lead the town’s team into victory.

This film is filled with edge-of-your-seat and breathtaking scenes that’ll have you hooked from start to finish. It’s a good movie, especially since it was nominated for 2 Oscars.

He Got Game (1998) Movie Poster

This movie walks you through the story of the most sought-after high school basketball prospect in the country, Jesus Shuttlesworth.

Unfortunately, his dream to get to the top in professional basketball is hindered by his father’s life sentence in prison for the death of his mother.

When the dad, played by Denzel Washington, finds out he could potentially be released early if his son went into college, he reaches out to his estranged son to convince him to go back to school.

Blue Chips (1994) Movie Poster

Pete Bell, the coach of the Western University Dolphins, finds himself under a lot of pressure when his team keeps losing games and good players are starting to stay away from that college because of its dwindling reputation.

Now, boosters are secretly paying stars of the future which is a forbidden practice in the college game. But Pete is quite desperate and the walls are closing in on him fast.

So after finding three prospects to recruit to his team--Butch McRae, Ricky, and Neon--he resorts to unconventional, even shady, tactics to get the talented players his team needs.

Hoop Dreams (1994) Movie Poster

This documentary follows the lives of two young black boys in Chicago, Arthur Agee and William Gates, through their high schools as they work towards perfecting their basketball skills.

They don’t have the most convenient life: These two have to walk for 90 minutes each day to go to their school and another 90 minutes to go back home.

But the predominantly white school they go to has an excellent basketball program, so they have no choice but to face these socio-economic and physical hindrances.

This is all in the hope of not only eventually playing in the NBA but also being awarded a college scholarship.

Filmed over the course of 5 years, this documentary walks you through their trials and tribulations as they fight to make their dreams come true.

Above the Rim (1994) Movie Poster

This 1994 movie tells the story of Kyle, a talented high school basketball star who’s waiting for an acceptance letter for a college scholarship in Georgetown.

While this happens, there’s a playground tournament coming up but he’s stuck between 2 teams: His high school basketball team or a squad led by a drug dealer.

Like Mike (2002) Movie Poster

Written by Jerry Smith, this movie revolves around Calvin and his friends who all stay in an orphanage.

On a faithful stormy night, they found some old shoes with a faded “MJ” written on it connected to a powerline.

When Calvin tries to get the shoes, he’s struck by lightning and suddenly develops incredible basketball powers.

This gets him an opportunity to play for the NBA.

Basketball Diaries (1995) Movie Poster

A teenager’s dream to become a basketball star is threatened after his kaleidoscopic free-fall into the distressing world of drug addiction.

Set in the 60s, this teenager’s name is Jim Carroll, and not only did he spiral into drugs, he also became homeless, turned to crime, and even prostitution.

It’s only with the help of an older neighborhood friend that he’s able to start his journey back into sanity.

Teen Wolf (1985)

This movie takes you through the life of an ordinary high school student who starts turning into a werewolf after he finds out his family’s unusual pedigree.

At first, he was dismayed but after the transformation, he no longer struggled in basketball practice. His curse might have its advantages after all.

Being a werewolf really turned things around for him not just in school but at social events, too.

The catch: Werewolves have anger issues. So if he wants to win the High School Basketball State Championship game, he definitely needs to control his temper.

The Sixth Man (1997) Movie Poster

Starring Marlon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison, The Sixth Man is a movie about a college basketball team that makes it to the NCAA finals with the help of the ghost of one of its dead stars.

When Antoine (their star player) dies of a heart attack, Kenny Tyler has to step into his shoes and lead his team to the championship.

This was a lot of pressure for him, but luckily, Antoine’s ghost comes back and becomes Kenny’s personal mentor.

This film also features cameos from college basketball personalities such as Jerry Tarkanian.

More Than a Game (2008) Movie Poster

Directed by Kristopher Belman, this documentary focuses on NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his teammates.

It shows their journey from starting out as the unknown Akron, Ohio basketball team to their rise to the top of youth athletics, to the future of the now-NBA-star LeBron James.

Finding Forrester (2000) Movie Poster

This movie is about the friendship between 16-year-old Jamal Wallace and writer William Forrester.

Jamal is a basketball player who gets recruited to a prestigious Manhattan school for being a great writer.

William, on the other hand, is a Pulitzer-prize winning author but he’s long since recused himself from the outside world.

Their unlikely friendship leads to Forrester overcoming his reclusiveness and Wallace overcoming racial prejudice and pursuing his writing dream.

Air Bud (1997) Movie Poster

Who doesn’t love dogs who can shoot?

In this movie, Buddy (a.k.a. Everyone’s favorite golden retriever) meets Josh, a 12-year old kid who’s dealing with the recent death of his father.

Besides that, his mother had just moved the whole family to a new town.

When Josh and Buddy develop a friendship and bond through basketball, Buddy’s mean owner finds out about the dog’s talent and comes to claim him.

The Air Up There (1994) Movie Poster

College basketball coach Jim Dolan ends up in Africa trying to recruit a huge basketball player Saleh.

Jim’s coaching career has been taking a down-turn because of his temperament, but when he saw video footage of Saleh skillfully playing basketball during one of the college’s religious missions in Africa, Jim immediately decided he needed Saleh in his team.

This leads Saleh to choose between his responsibilities at home and flying to a foreign country to play college basketball.

Celtic Pride (1996) Movie Image

Okay, I know the movie poster seems kind of shady, especially in today’s world ridden with political and racial upheaval. But I promise you, there’s an explanation.

In this movie, best friends Mike and Jimmy share a love for the Boston Celtics.

After their team drops during game 6 of the NBA final, they come up with a plan to kidnap Utah's basketball star, Lewis Scott, in order to jeopardize the opposing team’s chances of winning.

See? I told you there was an explanation.

Sunset Park (1996) Movie Poster

Gym teacher Phyllis Saroka only agreed to coach the Sunset Park High School basketball team because she needs the money to open her dream restaurant.

Truth be told, her heart wasn’t fully committed to it. She was just in it for financial reasons.

But along the way, she learns a lot about basketball, develops a connection with the players, and most importantly, helps herself and her team develop as people.

In the end, she leads the team to the city championship.

Rebound - The Legend of Earl the Goat Manigault (1996) Movie Image

This is a biopic about Eric "The Goat" Manigault who’s played by Don Cheadle.

Eric is a talented basketball player who’s been struggling with drug addiction and depression. This has ruined his 60s basketball career.

But he eventually cleans up his act and dedicates his time to teaching the children of Harlem.

The Pistol - The Birth of a Legend (1991) Movie Poster

This biographical sports film is about the 8th grade Peter Maravich who, against all odds, played for the high school team.

Sure, he had to wait for ten games before he was allowed to play, but he eventually did it.

That ‘s motivation. Especially for someone so young.

Through all of it, his father--Press Maravich--served as his trainer, coach, and motivator.

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979) Movie Image

In this fantastical sports film, astrology meets basketball.

A struggling professional basketball team, the Pittsburgh Pythons, decide to use astrology to improve the team's fortune.

Who knows? Maybe if their players had the right horoscopes, they wouldn’t suck as much anymore.

It features cameos from long-time Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri and NBA star Julius Erving.

Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) Movie Image

Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton was the star player of the local high school basketball team. He was destined for great things and his urban community adored him for representing them with his talents.

But one day, Cornbread was shot by the police because he was mistaken for a black criminal who’s just committed a violent crime.

The police take care of their own while Nathaniel’s African-American community fights to get him justice, with Wilford Robinson, Cornbread’s friend, taking a stand in the witness box to tell exactly what he saw the night Cornbread was shot.

Juwanna Mann (2002) Movie Poster

Miguel A. Núñez Jr. plays Jamal Jeffries, a basketball player who just got kicked out of the men’s basketball team.

This somehow leads him to the brilliant plan of pretending to be a woman so he could join the women’s basketball team.

Starring Vivica Fox, Kim Wayans and, Ginuwine, this is a really hilarious movie that’d get you laughing throughout its length

Fast Break (1979) Movie Poster

David Greene is a deli clerk and he’s just been offered a coaching job at a small college in Nevada.

He agrees and starts to assemble a culturally diverse team with each player having their own set of talents and abilities.

David’s pretty hopeful with his ensemble of different players.

But there’s a plot twist. Washington, one of the members, happens to be a woman and she’s taking great pains just to keep her gender a secret.

Eddie (1996) Movie Poster

Eddie, played by Whoopi Goldberg, is a limousine dispatcher who wins a contest to become an assistant coach for her favorite basketball team, the New York Knicks.

The team’s owner is very much impressed by her abilities that he fires the head coach, John Bailey, and promotes Eddie.

Eddie was ecstatic by her promotion and while she coaches, she begins connecting with the players on and off the court and eventually leads them into the championships.

But when they get there, they come face-to-face with the Charlotte Hornets who are--surprise, surprise--coached by John Bailey.

One on One (1977) Movie Poster

Henry Steele, a high basketball star from a small town in Colorado, gets offered a college scholarship in Los Angeles.

He’s got a lot on his plate though.

In order to make it professionally, he’s got to get past his lack of reading abilities, bullying from his team members, and a mean-spirited coach.

BASEketball (1998) Movie Image

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like if you combined basketball and baseball? Well, this movie seeks to answer your question.

In this film, best friends Joe Cooper and Doug Remer invent a game which is a hybrid of basketball and baseball. And they smartly call it BASEketball.

The sport becomes very popular in their neighborhood that they have to fight off a greedy businessman who starts going after their team.

Just Wright (2010) Movie Poster

Just Wright is a romance sports movie starring Queen Latifah and American Rapper Common.

It’s the story of a physical therapist named Leslie who falls in love with a professional basketball player named Scott after she treats his injury.

But Scott is in love with someone else--Morgan, Leslie’s friend.

People need love stories every once in a while, so definitely check this one out.

Rebound (2005) Movie Image

Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) is a college basketball coach who has an anger problem.

After he has a public meltdown and gets banned from varsity sports, he decides to take a job as a middle school basketball coach.

This experience genuinely changes him, and with the help of Jeanie, one of the players’ moms, he learns to care for his team and improves as a person.

The Mighty Macs (2009) Movie Poster

Immaculata College hires Cathy Rush to be the head coach for their women's basketball team.

But Cathy faces a lot of challenges. There’s no gym, no uniforms, and barely enough players to join the team.

With the help of an assistant and a group of elderly nuns, Cathy sets out to make the women's basketball team into National Champions.

O (2001) Movie Poster

O is a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello.

When Odin James receives the MVP award for leading his basketball team to victory, the coach’s son, Hugo, gets jealous and plans to ruin Odin’s reputation.

This movie covers a wide range of music genres, ranging from rap to opera, and it shows how friendship can turn into a bitter rivalry.

It also showcases how basketball stars sometimes use drugs as a form of escape.

Believe in Me (2006) Movie Poster

Clay Driscoll is hired as a temporary coach for a high school girls basketball team.

At first, he trains the girls without understanding their personalities. But with help from his wife, Clay begins to understand them and instills with them a sense of pride.

On their way to the state championships, they face an unexpected obstacle in the form of a powerful rancher.

I guess you just have to watch if you want to learn more about this mysterious rancher.

Like Mike 2 - Streetball (2006) Movie Poster

Remember Mike? The guy who finds shoes with “MJ” written on it and then gets struck by lightning, giving him magical basketball powers?

This is the sequel to that movie.

Now that he’s a basketball champion, his ego starts getting in the way.

The Heart of the Game (2005) Movie Poster

Directed by Ward Serrill, this documentary is about the Roosevelt Roughriders girls basketball team.

The film centers on the team’s star player and only black member, Darnellia Russell, and their new coach, Bill Resler.

Filmed over 7 years, you’ll get to watch the team’s journey and Darnellia’s struggles to stay on the team amidst major obstacles.

Crossover (2006) Movie Image

Tech and Noah are best friends who live in completely different environments.

Noah is a naturally talented basketball player who isn't interested in the sport, while Tech is a fan of basketball but things aren’t working out so well for him.

When the two of them take a trip to Los Angeles, they find themselves in the middle of a street basketball battle and if they want to win, they need to work together.

Home of the Giants (2007) Movie Poster

Robert "Gar" Gartland is best friends with Matt Morrison, the star of the Riverton Giants.

Gar is also a journalist for his high school and when Matt gets asked by a drug dealer to throw the big game, Gar gets caught in the middle of it.

Double Teamed (2002) Movie Poster

Double Teamed is a Disney Channel original movie based on the life of professional twin basketball players Heather and Heidi Burge.

Before becoming WNBA stars, they went to a large high school with the hopes of getting recruited for college basketball.

When their high school’s basketball coach allowed them to join his team, they both shone as talented players.

But while they play, they have to learn to accept one another's differences and deal with their overbearing dad.

Full-Court Miracle (2003) Movie Poster

This Disney movie is inspired by the true story of the University of Virginia Cavaliers basketball star Lamont Carr.

After Lamont had to leave basketball because of a serious knee injury, he meets a Jewish kid named Alex.

Alex loves basketball but his team at the academy wasn’t really that good. So he persuades Lamont to coach them.

The school’s administrators were hesitant about it at first, but through Lamont’s coaching, Alex’s team improved and even ended up defeating their school’s rivals: The Warriors.

Forget Paris (1995) Movie Poster

Romance meets basketball in Forget Paris when Mickey, a referee in the NBA, meets Ellen, an airline employee.

Sparks fly and they fall in love, but Mickey is forced to return to work for the beginning of the NBA season.

Not a lot of basketball movies are made for the referees, so this is definitely a must-watch.

Passing Glory (1999) Movie Poster

Passing glory is based on the true story of the first basketball game between a black team vs a white team in the history of New Orleans.

Joseph Verrett is a Jesuit priest who also teaches history in his all-black high school.

When they asked him to coach the basketball team, he disagreed at first because he thought the school prioritized sports over education.

But he eventually caved and leads his team to a basketball game against an unbeaten all-white team despite disapproval from Father Grant, the parish’s pastor.

Soul in the Hole (1997) Movie Image

This documentary centers on the life of aspiring basketball coach Kenny Jones and his team, "Kenny's Kings."

It shows the relationship between him and18-year-old basketball phenom, Ed Smith.

Set in urban Brooklyn, Kenny struggles to coach Ed and help him nurture his talent while keeping Ed away from the off-court troubles that threaten to ruin his promising future in basketball.

The Red Sneakers (2002) Movie Poster

Reggie Reynolds is a whiz in the classroom but has zero basketball abilities.

This changes when he’s gifted a pair of magical shoes by a stranger, and he quickly develops excellent shooting abilities.

This makes him forget his academic responsibilities though and on top of that, a sports shoe executive named Mercado has his own objectives and they’re not beneficial to Reggie at all.

Church Ball (2006)

It's the last year of Church Ball, and Bishop Linderman isn't going to allow his basketball team to lose for the 20th time in a row.

He recruits Dennis Buckstead to coach a group of non-playing basketball players and orders him to win the Basketball Championship.

But Dennis is pretty nervous about their odds.

He didn’t want his team to be the worst one that’s ever played but at the same time, he’s having trouble training his group of misfits to get better and actually have a chance at winning.

Slam Dunk Ernest (1995) Movie Poster

Ernest P. Worrell seeks to join his co-workers' basketball team, "Clean Sweep," as they compete in a tournament.

But he’s not really good at basketball, so he’s given the role of mascot--a role that only lets him be in the game at the sidelines.

One day, an angel (played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) visits him and gives him a pair of magical shoes that’d give him basketball abilities.

It does have a warning on it that tells him not to "misuse them," but if you’re Ernest, you probably wouldn’t be able to help yourself either.

1000 to 1 - The Cory Weissman Story (2014) Movie Poster

Directed by Mike Levine, this sports film centers on Cory Weissman, a talented student-athlete and basketball player at Gettysburg College.

He had a terrible incident of suffering stroke, but now he’s back to the ball game and he’s not holding anything back.

Based on a true story, this dreary drama will inspire you to keep on chasing your dreams no matter what the universe throws at you.

The American Game (1979)

The American game is a documentary about the life of two high school seniors. They come from different backgrounds but they’re both great basketball players.

Brian Walker is a white guy who lives in small-town Indiana who comes from an athletic family. He has the support of his parents and they push him to succeed.

Stretch Graham is a black teenager who lives in the rough part of Brooklyn with just his sister.

This film follows their lives and experiences as they’re recruited by the top colleges.

Ball Don't Lie (2008) Movie Image

An adaptation of the novel of the same name, Ball Don't Lie shows the life of basketball prodigy Sticky.

Set in California, Sticky manages to bypass his emotional scars, a Foster care system, and an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

He manages to get through all these by playing basketball.

The Basketball Fix (1951) Movie Poster

This film starring John Ireland is also known by its alternative title, "The Big Decision."

It tells the story of a sportswriter who tries to prevent a college athlete from becoming involved in a betting ring.

Brotherly Love (2015) Movie Image

Directed by Jamal Hill, this movie stars Keke Palmer and Cory Hardrict.

The story follows high school basketball player Sergio Taylor as he deals with the fame that comes with being a star athlete and coming from a family with faded aspirations.

It also features the lives of his sister and older brother while the three of them face life-changing decisions as they try to make something of themselves.

The Cookout (2004) Movie Poster

Written by Queen Latifah, The Cookout tells the story of Todd Anderson, who had just signed a million-dollar contract with his hometown basketball team, The New Jersey Nets.

To celebrate this deal, he hosts a cookout and reunion. But when his friends and family start to show up, things don’t quite go the way he expected them to.

Crossing the Line (2002) Movie Poster

A former women’s basketball player lands a job as an assistant coach for a girl's high school basketball team.

After an unfortunate incident with the head coach, she takes over and faces several parents who push their daughters to win at all costs.

Having to deal with hostile parents and fans, she really has her work cut out for her.

Double Dribble (1946)

Double dribble is a 1946 Disney cartoon with a running time of 7 minutes.

Starring Goofy and directed by Jack Hannah, the film spoofs basketball by focusing on illegal and impossible stunts taken by each team.

It’s just a short movie and if you’re up for some mindless animated entertainment, you should watch this one.

Drive, He Said (1971) Movie Poster

Drive, He Said is a movie about college basketball star Hector Bloom.

Hector gets into an affair with Olive, his professor’s wife. Add to that his anti-war roommate’s descent into madness.

Suffice to say, these distractions cause Hector to lose focus while on the court and he really needs to get his act straight.

The Fair Co-Ed (1927)

The Fair Co-ed is an American silent film, also known as "The Varsity Girl."

When Marion finds out that her crush Bob is the coach of the Bingham College’s women’s basketball team, she decides to enroll there.

She becomes the star player in her team but she butts heads with another member, Betty, who’s also chasing after Bob.

Drama ensues where Marion quits the team that causes them to lose the first championship game, and when she realizes she made a mistake, she tries to come back but not everyone wants her to.

Final Shot - The Hank Gathers Story (1992) Movie Poster

This biopic is about the life of Loyola Marymount basketball player Eric Gathers.

It shows Eric's growing up in the slums of Philadelphia, to his freshman year at USC, and his brief career at Loyola Marymount, where he collapsed during a game.

But inspired by his mother and a priest, he rises to All-American heights.

Go Man Go (1954)

Coach Abe Saperstein organizes a basketball team and calls them the Harlem Globetrotters.

As they go on the road, they struggle to overcome racial discrimination but they triumph through it.

The movie also shows the friendship between Abe and Inman Jackson and the friendship of their wives.

Hardwood Dreams (1993)

Narrated by Wesley Snipes, Hardwood Dreams is a sports documentary centered on the lives of five Morningside High School (MHS) basketball players.

These five hopefuls have dreams of making it to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Harvard Man (2001) Movie Poster

Alan Jensen is a sophomore at Harvard and the point guard for the basketball team.

When his parents’ home was destroyed by a hurricane, he decides to help them out with a $100,000 payment he got from a mob after throwing a game.

Heaven Is a Playground (1991) Movie Poster

Based on Rick Telander's book of the same name, a coach and a lawyer team up to give high school students in a ghetto community a chance at life by playing basketball.

But it’s a difficult job.

With the prevalent temptation of dealing and using drugs, plus a greedy sports agent getting in the way, the coach and lawyer really need to push hard to protect these kids and give them the future they deserve

Hurricane season (2009) Movie Poster

Starring Forest Whitaker and Taraji P. Henson, Hurricane Season is based on the true story of the John Ehret high school basketball team of 2005-2006.

In order to win the championship, Al Collins, the school’s basketball coach, assembles a team of players from different high schools, mentors them, and leads them on the path to winning the state championship.

Jayhawkers (2014) Movie Poster

Phog Allen, head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team recruits a 7-foot 1-inch Wilt Chamberlain.

Wilt faces racial discrimination and segregation and is almost forced to look for a more acceptable environment.

John Tucker Must Die (2006) Movie Poster

John Tucker is a teenage basketball star and he’s quite the player.

So much so that three of his ex-girlfriends worked together to set him up to fall in love with the new girl, Katie.

They resorted to this kind of emotional warfare when more petty kinds of revenge, such as rumors, didn’t work.

The girls give Katie a crash course on how to lure John into her clutches and then break his heart. But with movies like this one, you already know the formula: John and Katie would end falling for each other instead.

Long Shot - The Kevin Laue Story (2012) Movie Image

Kevin Laue was born with an arm that ended below the elbow.

His father, a former athlete and youth coach had troubles with accepting the disability. But this only drove Kevin to play extraordinary basketball.

When Coach McKnight sees something in him, he gives Kevin a chance to become a basketball player.

This heartwarming and inspirational tale of a one-armed man’s struggles to play the game he loves will surely touch your heart.

The Luck of the Irish (2001) Movie Poster

15-year-old basketball player Kyle Johnson discovers his heritage when he turns into a leprechaun after losing his family’s lucky gold coin.

It turns out that the coin was stolen and his luck just kept on going from bad to worse.

When he finds out that an evil leprechaun stole his coin, he has to win against him in a game of basketball in order to get it back.

Maurie (1973)

Maurie is an American biographical film centered on the friendship of two NBA Hall-of-Famer forwards, Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman.

Both played for the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals during the 1950s. The two became close then.

When Maurice suffers a brain injury and was left permanently paralyzed, Jack had been there to support him through all of it, not just morally but also financially.

It was tough for them both, but their friendship lasted and Jack stayed with Maurice until his death from a heart attack in 1970.

Medora (2013) Movie Poster

Medora, Indiana used to thrive as a town with farms, factories, and a prosperous middle-class population. But when their factories started shutting down, their economy dwindled and their population lessened to just about 500.

In this documentary about the 2011 season of the Medora Hornets, the town’s local basketball team, you’ll watch how a team with an ongoing losing streak struggle to win for the survival of their home town.

They quickly become a symbol and this thrilling movie about an underdog basketball team and a community coming together through sports will truly inspire you.

This is a biopic based on the life of NBA superstar Michael Jordan. It shows Jordan's life from childhood, his upbringing, and up until he became an NBA player.

From his short-lived baseball career in the minor leagues to the announcement of his retirement, you’ll watch this legend’s career unfold before your eyes.

This film is a great watch for young kids because Michael Jordan has devoted a lot of his time to inspiring youths and being there for his family. He didn’t stray from these values even while he broke sports records and went through numerous enterprises.

One & Done (2016) Movie Image

One & Done is a documentary film about Australian basketball player Ben Simmons.

It shows his journey to being the number one NBA draft pick in 2016 from his upbringing in Australia to attending High School and College in the United States.

The film portrays his critical opinions about how the NCAA treats its players and about the so-called one-and-done players.

Salaam Dunk (2011)

The documentary follows the women's basketball team of The American University of Iraq in Iraqi Kurdistan for a full academic year.

In a war-torn country, these girls discover how basketball unites them.

Following the lives of these players on and off the court, notably Laylan, the teams' captain, this film will show you what it means to be athletes and friends amid a chaotic environment.

A Season on the Brink (2002) Movie Poster

This sports film is based on John Feinstein's best-selling book of the same title.

It shows the 1985-86 season of the Indiana Hoosiers led by their temperamental coach, Bobby Knight.

If you want an insider look at how an NCAA basketball team operates, then this is the perfect movie for you. With backstage experience from John Feinstein’s all-access pass to their team’s meetings, practices, and huddles, you’ll definitely learn a lot.

Slamma Jamma (2017) Movie Poster

A promising basketball player gets arrested for a robbery he didn't commit and forced to serve time behind bars. So this definitely ruined his chance of having a professional basketball career.

He served 6 long years in prison, but I guess there’s a silver lining because his time in jail led to a journey of redemption and self-discovery.

After his release, he immediately gets back on track with playing basketball and starts preparing for a national slam dunk competition.

The St. Tammany Miracle (1994) Movie Poster

The basketball team of an all-girls Catholic high school is trying to make a name for themselves.

With the help of their new female coach, Lootie Pfannder, they hope to become basketball stars. The only problem is that they barely have the funding to improve their skills.

In addition to that, Lootie’s unconventional coaching style ignites opposition from the previous coach and the school’s dean.

So if she wants to turn these girls into winners, she’s going to have to work really hard to get them to the championships.

Streetballers (2009) Movie Image

This is a movie by Matthew Scott Krentz and it shows the friendship between two junior college basketball players, Jacob Whitmore and John Hogan.

In the midst of their dysfunctional families and an environment riddled with crime, alcoholism, and drugs, they use basketball as a means of therapy and escape.

While spending an entire summer helping one another overcome misfortune, their bond grows, and the two players form an unbreakable friendship.

This is a wonderful story about faith, passion, and working hard to achieve your goals.

Tall Story (1960) Movie Poster

This film, made by Warner Bros., is based on a 1957 novel entitled "The Homecoming Game" and it’s one of the first rom-com basketball movies out there.

Ray Blent is an honor student in his college and he’s also a basketball player while June Ryder is studying Home Economics and planning to get a husband before she gets out of school.

Now, June isn’t your typical girl at the time. She was very brazen in her pursuits of locking down Ray as a husband, and everyone around her was pretty much shocked or offended by her behavior.

Ray, oblivious sweetheart that he is, isn’t too aware of June’s motives. More drama ensues, and I’ll just leave you to watch the rest.

That Championship Season (1982) Movie Poster

Twenty-five years after the Fillmore High School basketball team won the Pennsylvania state championship, the coach and four of the team members reunite.

Through the years, they’ve found themselves in various situations.

Coach Delaney might be terminally ill, George Sitkowkski is now the mayor with hopes of being re-elected, James Daley is at a dead-end job overworking day in and day out, Phil Romano turned out to be a corrupt official, and Tom Daley’s addicted to alcohol.

The question is: What happens now that they’re all back together?

That Championship Season (1999) Movie Poster

This is a remake of the previous 1982 movie.

You know the drill: Four teammates meet 20 years after winning the championship at a high school special reunion. They’ve met annually before, but this year it’d be different.

After a few drinks at their old coach’s house, things turn violent as secrets are spilled and intentions are brought to light.

The Winning Season (2009) Movie Poster

The Winning Season is a sports comedy film about Bill Greeves, a divorced dad with an estranged relationship with his daughter Molly. Oh, and he’s also an alcoholic.

One day, his friend Terry offers him a job--to be the coach a high school’s girl’s basketball team.

Bill accepts the offer and starts to get his life back on track.

This is a comedy movie though, so keep in mind there might be a lot of slapstick misfortune coming your way.

The Year of the Yao (2004) Movie Poster

The documentary tells the story of Yao Ming’s first year playing for the NBA. This film is narrated by his friend Colin Pine.

Being the first Chinese player to play for the Houston Rockets and NBA as a whole, Yao struggled as he faced cultural and language barriers. On top of that, he had to play against one of the NBA's most dominant players--Shaquille O'Neal.

But despite these hindrances, his skills came through and he began to adjust and even excel at the court.

Michael Jordan - His Airness (1999) Movie Image

The documentary tells the story of Michael Jordan, the legendary “MJ.”

This is a film that’ll take you on a journey from his childhood in North Carolina, to making it to the NBA and making his name as one of the association’s best players, to his eventual retirement from the Chicago Bulls in 1999.

You’ll be with him step-by-step through his entire career and you’ll get to know Michael Jordan as a man and an athlete.

Ultimate Jordan (2001)

The documentary, Ultimate Jordan, is a compilation of Michael Jordan's best dunks, shots, ultimate moves, and five of his greatest games, up until his retirement.

I know, there are a lot of documentaries about him. But that’s because he has so many fans and he inspired so many people.

If you’re one of those, add this to your list of Jordan films because you’ll definitely enjoy this, too.

Playground (1990)

You guessed it: Michael Jordan’s in this film, too. Face it. He’s everywhere.

Playground is about a teenager from Walt High School who finds out that he just got cut from the basketball team.

Doubting his abilities, Walt goes to this magical playground called "Michael Jordan's playground" and gets basketball lessons from MJ himself.

Imagine being Walt for a second and that you’re being mentored by basketball’s biggest names. That’s frankly amazing.

Kobe Doin' Work (2009)

If you miss Kobe, this is the film to watch.

In this documentary directed by Spike Lee, Kobe grants about 30 cameramen access to his life before and during one game of the 2007-2008 Los Angeles Lakers season in a match against the San Antonio Spurs.

Linsanity (2013) Movie Poster

Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

He generated a cultural phenomenon in the 2011-12 NBA season when he unexpectedly led the New York Knicks to a win. This phenomenon was known as "Linsanity" and thus, the title of this documentary.

Directed by filmmaker Evan Leong, this is a great film for Asian representation in basketball.

The Other Dream Team (2012) Movie Image

The Other Dream Team is a documentary about Lithuania’s National Basketball Team and their journey of winning the bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

The film isn’t just about the team, though.

This documentary also highlights historical events, such as the fall of the Soviet Union, which allowed Lithuania to participate in the Summer Olympics in the first place.

Through the Fire (2005) Movie Poster

Through the Fire is a documentary that revolves around the life and early career of Sebastian Telfair.

He was a star athlete in his high school’s basketball team and the NBA was so impressed by his abilities that they offered him the chance to skip college and go straight into the NBA.

With personal clips from cameras following him throughout crucial turning points in his life, you’ll get to see him trying to choose between going to school at Louisville University or go through with a promising career in professional basketball.

Warrior Pride (2018) Movie Poster

Dylan Baxter, coach of the Michigan Warriors in the Amateur Athletic Association, has to be a coach while on the court and off the court.

While navigating through the ups and downs of life, he has to coach his team to win the national championship.

Slam (2008) Movie Poster

This is a Chinese movie that features Jason, Monkey, and Mouth, who are huge fans of basketball.

But trouble starts when Li, the basketball team’s captain, decides to pick a bone with them.

This continues when they come face-to-face for the annual Adidas street basketball tournament.

American Citizen (1992) Movie Poster

An American professional basketball player, who is playing in Israel, befriends an Israeli sports journalist.

The two share a love for basketball and this breaks the cultural barrier as they both come to develop a friendship despite their contrasting backgrounds.

They, in turn, learn to respect each other’s cultures.

Another great movie about how sports can unite people even when they’re very different.

The Harlem Globetrotters (1951) Movie Image

Abe Saperstein, manager of the all-black basketball team Harlem Globetrotters, signs Billy Townsend, a promising college athlete.

Billy quits college to focus on the team.

He then gets fired but decides to come back home when his team needed him.

Guarding Eddy (2004) Movie Image

18-year-old Eddy sneaks to Los Angeles to fulfill his dream of playing for the L.A. Clippers.

But he has a developmental disability, so reaching his dreams wouldn’t be as easy as he initially thought.

And then he meets Mike, a former professional basketball player. The two form a friendship and Mike tries to help Eddy with his endeavors as much as he can.

Wo Ist Fred (2006) Movie Poster

The title means “Where is Fred?” by the way, and it’s a German movie about Fred, just a regular old dude who proposes to his girlfriend in an empty basketball arena.

But instead of saying yes, she leaves the decision to her son, saying if her son’s okay with it, then she’ll marry Fred.

Now, the son is quite spoiled and in order for him to agree, Fred has to get a basketball from the son’s favorite team.

So Fred pretends to be a handicapped fan in a wheelchair so he can get closer to the ball. But his plan backfires when an attractive filmmaker tags him to be a part of her PR campaign for disabled fans.

Jumping for Joy (2002)

Bobbie is a girl who’s pretty talented in basketball.

But because she’s a girl and it’s the 1960s, she can’t really play for the team she wants to be in.

Luckily, she kind of has boy-like features. So one day, when a group of guys sees her play, they ask her to be on their college team. Of course, they thought he was a guy at that time.

So now that she’s playing on an all-boys basketball team, she’s also harboring a shocking secret.


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