With basketball season already in full swing, I have been glued to the TV watching my favorite match ups of the day while also keeping up with my fantasy team. In addition, I along with two of my friends are creating a basketball league for teenagers in our community, because we realized there weren’t any competitive basketball leagues at the high school level that were outside of playing for the high school or travel ball. Thus, we decided to work together and create one for kids who for whatever reason couldn’t play for their high school or they couldn’t afford travel ball. We have decided to name it the ABA, to bring back the notion of “let’s just play basketball and have fun” that was what kind of characterized the ABA back in the day where it rivaled the NBA. I will be posting a link to my basketball league’s page and videos in posts and be sure to keep all of you updated. However, to celebrate the launch of the beginning of our setting up process, I have decided to compile my favorite basketball movies.
1. Teen Wolf-1985
This classic 80’s movie stars one of the most iconic actors of the decade, Michael J. Fox. In Back to the Future, he played Marty McFly on his adventures through time with Dr. Emmett Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. In Teen Wolf, Fox plays an average teenager who happens to be on his school’s not so great varsity basketball team. On his team he isn’t a star but it is more like he’s just there (and the tension between the team doesn’t help). Along with the troubles of his basketball team, he is also troubled by average things like not being popular, school, girls, and oh yea being a werewolf. One night when he gets home, he starts getting a really funny feeling and rushes to the bathroom. Upon looking in the mirror, he discovers he is turning into some sort of monster and soon discovers it runs in his family, as his father is also a werewolf. Now, he isn’t like a new “Twilight” werewolf or savage by any means, in this movie he just becomes furry and also becomes more athletic. You can imagine there are few werewolves in your typical high school, so Scott (his character’s name) suddenly gets launched into stardom when in a game he fails to hide his alter ego. He gets angry during a basketball game and suddenly transforms into a high flying werewolf. This movie doesn’t focus so much on basketball the sport, but uses it as a medium to tell the story.
This is one of the quintessential basketball films as it is a story on not only the competitive aspect, but the philosophy behind the game. As far as the plot, it is similar to a more recent movie, Remember the Titans, in the sense that there is the plot development between a community and a new coach being brought in for the high school team. Similarly, the community at first is uneasy about the new basketball coach, Dale, and also that the town basketball star, Jimmy, refuses to play for Dale due to how he was so attached to the old coach. Dale introduces a new playing style that doesn’t quite yield the results the community hoped for and threaten to get rid of him. However, Jimmy decides to play and this turns things around for the team. The team ends up going to to the state championship and wins it all with everyone on the team stepping up along the way. This movie is an excellent movie, as to not butcher the beautiful messages and inspiration in the movie, I highly suggest you watch it if you haven’t.
3. Coach Carter-2005
This movie is an inspiring sports drama about the struggles of inner city youth and trying to balance basketball along with their other priorities. In this movie, the great Samuel L. Jackson plays Ken Carter, an alumni of Richmond High School, is newly coached to run the school basketball team. He is disappointed in the activities and behavior of the team and before he can teach them basketball he must team them about life. He forces them to study and has them sign contracts to make sure they wouldn’t neglect their studies. The movie really focuses on how life and sports are interconnected in both values and responsibilities. However, when drama occurs in some of the players’ lives and Carter’s son joins the team things get much more complicated. Carter is so serious about changing his players’ lives for the better that he closes the gym until the players improve their games. This movie is an excellent example of how sports relates to life and how it can be a medium for self-improvement.