With the NCAA Basketball Tournament, aka "March Madness," in full court, it seemed appropriate to gather 10 of the best basketball movies of all time. These movies inspire, teach, and are filled with all the great up-and-down-the-court action!
Top 10 Basketball Movies of All Time
10. "Blue Chips" (1994)
This look at the world of college basketball shows the price of victory, while weaving in the corruption of amateur sports. Stand-out performances by Shaquille O’Neal and Nick Nolte.
9. "Glory Road" (2006)
This is a true-life story of Texas Western’s Coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), who led the first all-black starting lineup team to win a NCAA National Basketball Championship in 1966.It was named “Best Sports Movie” at the 2006 ESPY Awards.
8. "Love & Basketball" (2000)
Featuring both a protagonist male (Omar Epps) AND a protagonist female (Sanaa Lathan), this unique movie combines the couple’s love affair with their commitment to the sport they love.
7. "Above the Rim" (1994)
With this story of a boy using his basketball skills to escape the inner city, the action-packed basketball scenes are remarkable and noteworthy. The late rapper/actor Tupac Shakur stars.
6. "The Basketball Diaries" (1995)
Based on the memoirs of Jim Carroll, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a teenager who aspires to one day become a basketball star — until he falls subject to peer pressure, sexual angst, and an appetite for heroin.
5. "Coach Carter" (2005)
This is biopic centers on Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson), a high-school basketball coach who tries to teach his players that there is more to life than just the sport.Despite the harsh criticisms of his decision, Carter benches his undefeated team after demonstrating poor academic conduct.
4. "Hoop Dreams" (1994)
It doesn’t get more real than this. The Oscar-nominated documentary “Hoop Dreams” shows the hardships of inner-city high school basketball players, on route to reaching their NBA dreams.
3. "White Men Can't Jump" (1992)
This sports comedy follows two street basketball hustlers (Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes), who are forced to team up. They love the game and the money almost as much as the distrust one another. It’s entertaining, fast-paced with quippy dialogue and stellar performances.
2. "He Got Game" (1998)
Real-life basketball player Ray Allen stars as an inner-city kid, whose father Jake — played beautifully by Denzel Washington — is in jail for beating his mother. When Jake shows up unexpectedly, he must try to convince Ray to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence. One of director Spike Lee’s best.
1. "Hoosiers" (1986)
Inspired by a true story, “Hoosiers” is the quintessential underdog sports flick. Led by their tireless coach (Gene Hackman), an Indiana small-town high school basketball team, full of misfits AND great players, defy the odds and go on to win the Indiana State High School Basketball Championships in 1954.