Love & Basketball (2000)
2h / PG-13 / Sports, Romance
Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy, whose father, Zeke (Dennis Haysbert), plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, is a natural talent and a born leader. Monica is ferociously competitive but her play on the court can be emotionally uncontrolled. Over the years, the two begin to fall for each other, but their separate paths to basketball stardom (and the differing opportunities available to them) threaten to pull them apart.
Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood spent years working on the script that would be Love & Basketball, while polishing her craft on the staff of shows like A Different World. Stating that her goal was to make “a Black When Harry Met Sally“, by the time the script was optioned, she still didn’t think it was perfect — nor did she expect to get to direct it. Composed in quarters like a basketball game, it’s not just one of the best coming-of-age romances of its time, but one of the best sports movies too. Every line of dialogue is deeply considered and subtly performed.
Emotionally honest, bravely vulnerable and with an all-time soundtrack, Love & Basketball is a tender, complex film that deserves a lot more praise and attention than it got.
Presented as part of the Black Love Classics Series in partnership with the City of Tampa with special guests Sherisha Hills – Director of Parks & Recreation – and Mayor Jane Castor.
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The Black Love Classics Series is presented by TECO.