Outside of keeping track of the NBA, PBA, MPBL and collegiate league games, every crazy baller out there had films that centered on basketball in their archives.
FOX Sports Philippines came out with a list of four must-have films for basketball junkies out there.
Blue Chips – The film stars veteran actor Nick Nolte portraying the role of Pete Bell, a college basketball coach, who was a three-time National champion but struggled in the new landscape of recruiting without breaking the rules.
Coaching the Western University Dolphins, Bell recruited Ricky Roe, a farm boy from Indiana, Butch McRae (portrayed by NBA star Penny Hardaway), and Neon Boudeaux (portrayed by NBA star Shaquille O’Neal).
Feeling the pressure of winning, Bell hooked up with Happy Kuykendahl and his “friends from the program” from recruiting these high school stars.
Roe’s dad gets a new tractor on tip of getting cash, McRae’s mom gets a new job and a house and Boudeaux gets a brand new car.
In a nationally-televised game against Indiana, the No.1 team coached by Bobby Knight (who himself appeared during the film), the Dolphins, behind the newly-recruited stars, beat the Hoosiers, but Bell cannot bear the thought of coaching a team that has players illegally recruited and admitted the scandal.
Also appearing in the film in cameo roles were Larry Bird (as himself) and Bob Cousy (the athletic director of Western University).
Coach Carter — Coach Ken Carter, portrayed by Samuel Jackson, was an All-American who held the record for points and assists while playing for Richmond High basketball team. After more than two decades, he returned to the school to take over a mediocre program and started coaching the team.
His philosophy is simple: players must be student first before becoming an athlete, hence he asked all the players to sign a contract they agree on his conditions.
Coach Carter also asked teachers of these student athletes to make progress reports, so when he found out that his players were not meeting the academic standard he set, he decided to padlocked the school gym — and made his students pay more attention on studying.
That forced the parents and teachers of Richmond High to file a petition to remove Coach Carter.
Finally, when the players were able to get their grades up, they resumed playing basketball and even winning the Bay Hill invitational tournament.
At the tournament proper, the Richmond Oilers were able to reach the playoffs of the CIF High School tournament and lost by two points to their rivals, St. Francis, after a buzzer-beating by high school phenom Ty Crane.
In defeat, Carter was proud of the accomplishment as six players were able to go to college, including his son who broke his record in all-time scoring and assist.
Hoosiers — Indiana is called the haven of basketball in the United States, so it’s a big deal to have the Indiana State Basketball Competitions.
Norman Dale, portrayed by Gene Hackman, has been in the water for the last 10 years after getting banned from a league he coached for punching a player.
But he was hired by his old friend, who turned out to be the athletic director, to take over the program of Hickory, a small town in Indiana, whose basketball program was anchored on the lone best player of the squad — Jimmy Chitwood.
Chitwood, who just lost his old man, decided to leave the team, and concentrate on his studies.
Without its best player and a coach who is still trying to find his way around after long years of retirement, the folks of Hickory, who are as passionate as everybody else in the entire state, didn’t know what to expect.
Dale’s focus on discipline and “share the ball” mentality had found him at odds with the rest of the folks who filed a petition for his removal. What compounded it even more was the fact that Coach Dale hired a drunk basketball junkie, Shooter Flatch, father of one of the members of the Hoosiers.
When Chitwood learned that there’s a petition to remove Dale as coach, the star player showed up during the voting proceedings and announced that he’s going to play on the condition that the mentor would stay on.
Dale was reinstated and along with Chitwood and the rest of the Hoosiers, they would go all the way to winning the Indiana State Championship.
Glory Road — Based on a true story, the film is about the 1966 Texas Western College in El Pasocoached by Don Haskins, portrayed by Josh Lucas.
The story would change the landscape of American basketball as Haskins would insert all seven players and used no one but them in the finals against the University of Kentucky Wildcats team which featured All-American Pat Riley, who would later play and become one of the most successful coaches in the NBA.
The Wildcats coach was the great Adolph Rupp, portrayed in the film by Jon Voight.
Texas Western College didn’t only have to deal with crack opponents, including a tough semifinals game against Jojo White, who would become an NBA legend playing for the Boston Celtics, and the rest of the University of Kansas squad.
The team also had to deal with racial discrimination during that time.
Texas Western would be the first team to start an all-black team in the US, thus created a lot of stir.
But their victory over the highly-favored Wildcats would not only earn the respect of the squad, but it would also change the mentality of the society.