Thursday, April 3, 2008

Top 5 Basketball Movies

Jackie Moon played by Will Ferrel

In cinemas around Australia today the basketball movie Semi-Pro was released. Now I'm not sure if I will check this out straight away as my teammates seem to get their hands onto DVD copies very quickly, but I thought what a great time to reflect on my All-Time Top 5 Hoop Movies.

1. Hoosiers - There is no doubting this is a classic. Even if you are not a lover of the game, you still can appreciate the movie for its storyline.

Sure I'm bias towards this movie and the main player, Jimmy Chitwood, but who hasn't dreamt of a coach drawing up the "picket fence" play for YOU!

A worthwhile flick if you haven't already seen it. For the rest of us who have seen it a few times, we can only hope that the next rainy day is soon.

2. Hoop Dreams - A documentary about two high school hoopers who dream of cracking the NBA. Both have a different ride to their final destination.

It is good to show how kids not only have these big dreams when they are growing up, but it also addresses the real life challenges they could never anticipate along the way.

This doco is for the pure hoopers who have dreams like these guys. A real eye opener.

3. White Man Can't Jump - A movie that I have potentially mimiced once or twice. In my time in the USA I actually adventured down to Venice Beach and tried to pull off my best Woody Harrelson impersonation.

Venice is the temple of out door hoop action in Cali and I had to get in on it. It was 1991 and my junior college had been knocked out of the Orange County Tournament, so I had a spare day to explore southern Cali. While most of my teammates crossed the street to Disneyland, I explored the beach side hoop's scene.

I rocked up to the legendary landmark and stood there for hours waiting for my number to be called in a game. Finally my squad got to grace the court of what I thought was heaven at the time. Well let me tell you, my teammates treated me like I was a 6'3 Shawn Bradley, while they continued to miss layups. But they all swore they would be in the NBA next week.

Quite a unique experience and one I will never forget.

Rent the movie, watch it, then head to Venice, especially if you are a pasty white guy.

4. Blue Chips - Anything with Shaq in it is worth watching, but Penny Hardaway was hot back then too. This movie is laced with the "Big Wigs" of college basketball in the States.

A little far fetched, but I was hoping my recruiting would go a little like these guys did (a John Deere tractor), but it didn't.

Former Sydney King import Matt Nover gets more shots up in the movie than he did with the Kings.

5. The Air Up There - When former West Sydney teammate Yaya Dia was homesick, we would just pop this movie in and all was forgotten.

The movie is about a coach who goes to Africa to recruit a Prince to play for him in the USA. Worth a look on a very slow day.

Sure there are many other movies that missed out (He Got Game, Coach Carter, Space Jam), but all cannot get action on JR's Top 5.

I'm curious to hear from you out there as to where Semi Pro would rate on your list.

Semi Pro Trailer


Anonymous said...

Surely one of the newer flicks Glory Road has got to be in the top 5. Maybe even in the top two.

John Rillie said...


I'm not the biggest movie goer in the world, so I have not checked it out. I will get onto it though as everyone speaks highly of it.