Nothing beats an old romantic movie.
When we polled more than 20 Big Ten basketball players this week at Big Ten Media Days about their favorite basketball movie, “Love and Basketball” easily won with nine votes.
The film, first released in 2000, stars Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan as childhood friends who grow up to love each other and basketball.
And no, it’s not just a girl’s movie, although the film received eight votes from female basketball players. Wisconsin’s Tyler Wahl also voted for the film, prompting a few laughs from his teammates seated next to him.
Votes: Taiyier Parks, State of Michigan; Makenna Marisa, Penn State; Leilani Kapinus, Penn State; Tyler Wahl, Wis.; Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State; Julie Pospisilova, Wis.; Halle Douglass, Wis.; Jaz Shelley, Nebraska; Kamaria McDaniel, State of Michigan
Another film that just passed the 20-year mark was tied for the second highest number of votes. “Like Mike” was released in 2002 and features Lil’ Bow Wow receiving basketball skills through a pair of shoes. The hit song from the soundtrack, “Basketball”, can still be heard often in the arenas.
Voice: Avery LaBarbera, Wis.; Derrick Walker, Nebraska; Kamaria McDaniel, State of Michigan
This one will probably make a few coaches smile. “Coach Carter,” a 2005 film based on a true story where Samuel L. Jackson leads an inner-city basketball team to success through hard-nosed coaching, also received three votes from our panel.
Voters: Steven Crowl, Wisconsin; Taylor Mikesell, Ohio State; Jalen Pickett, State of Pennsylvania
Also received votes
Six other films received at least one vote from the players we surveyed (players were allowed to vote for more than one). “Space Jam” received votes from Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon and Alexis Markowski (the LeBron James-starring sequel released last year received no votes).
The others: “Hoosiers” (Sam Griesel, Nebraska), “White Men Can’t Jump” (Jalen Pickett, Penn State), “Glory Road” (Chucky Hepburn, Wisconsin), “He Got Game” (DeeDee Hagemann, Michigan State), Above The Rim (Seth Lundy, Penn State).