Top Ten Basketball Movies: #1

We are only a few days away from the start of our Basketball season! And to help kick things off I will be counting down the top 10 basketball movies over the next 10 days. This list is solely my opinion and I respect the fact that other fans of these movies may have a different order. Nevertheless these are still great movies about Basketball!

#1: Hoosiers (1986)20121028-113304.jpg

This is one of the top sports movies of all time and the basketball movie that wrote the book on how all other basketball movies would be made. Hoosiers is a cinematic classic and a must have for a sports fan’s collection. No other basketball movie has had as big of an impact as Hoosiers has.

Hoosiers is the story of Coach Norman Dale (played by Gene Hackman) as he becomes the new basketball coach in the small town of Hickory, Indiana. Coach Dale’s checkered past has led him to this rural town and he isn’t accepted very easily. The towns best player, Jimmy Chitwood (played by Maris Valainis who was the only player/actor on the Hickory team not to play high school basketball. He did play college golf at Purdue his freshman year.) has decided he doesn’t want to play basketball this year. With such a small town Jimmy’s absences is greatly noticed and Coach Dale’s team struggles.

“I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line 23 nights for the next 4 months, to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.”
– Coach Norman Dale

The town has also become frustrated with his playing style, as he teaches a slower defensive game and a more patient and disciplined four pass offense.

“I’ve seen you guys can shoot but there’s more to the game than shooting. There’s fundamentals and defense…My practices aren’t designed for your enjoyment.”
– Coach Norman Dale

Then to make matters worse, Coach Dale enlists the help of the towns drunk, Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch (played by Dennis Hopper who was nominated for an Academy Award for this role), because of his love and knowledge for the game of basketball. As the towns frustration reaches a new high they come together to vote on Coach Dale’s future but the meeting comes to a streaking halt when Jimmy Chitwood asks to speak. He says he has decided to play basketball this year but only for Coach Dale.

“I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.”
– Jimmy Chitwood

This movie may seem dated to a younger audience but it’s characters and story are timeless. A true cinema classic worthy of our number 1 billing and should be in the movie collection of every coach, player, and fan of the great game that is Basketball.

“If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we’re gonna be winners.”
– Coach Norman Dale

Hoosiers Trailer

Top Ten Basketball Movies:
#1 Hoosiers
#2 He Got Game
#3 White Men Can’t Jump
#4 Space Jam
#5 Coach Carter
#6 Love & Basketball
#7 Blue Chips
#8 Finding Forrester
#9 The Air Up There.
#10 Glory Road

Honorable Mention (no particular order)
Like Mike
The 6th Man
Above The Rim
Believe in Me

There are also tons of great basketball documentaries out there! Maybe a post for another time…

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