Lucy McCalmont. -Huff Post Black Voices
Fifteen years ago, the 2000 release of “Love & Basketball,” redefined what was considered a sports movie by bypassing the genre altogether.
For many athletes, the story of Monica and Quincy, childhood neighbors (portrayed by actors Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps) who grew up playing basketball and falling in love, resonated so much. On screen was the heartbreak and passion of sports and love — with some strip basketball and a beautiful game of one-on-one thrown in for good measure.
Furthermore, for many women, we finally saw in Monica a character unlike any other. A woman that wasn’t delicate, but rather, could hold her own on the court and trash talk with the best. And yes, still fall in love with the boy next door. It also transcended race and unlike many of its contemporaries, was embraced by a broader audience.
A smaller-budget film and a directorial debut for its writer, Gina Prince-Bythewood, “Love & Basketball” has endured as a classic and favorite among audiences, crossing beyond gender, race and sports.
To mark the movie’s 15th anniversary, The Huffington Post spoke to some of those behind the film about its legacy and what it took to make such a realistic basketball movie, that became much more than a sports film.
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