30 Best Written Basketball Movies to Celebrate March Madness
As March approaches, the anticipation for one of the most thrilling events in the world of basketball intensifies—March Madness. To celebrate the frenzy of buzzer-beaters, slam dunks, and underdog triumphs, we’ve compiled a slam-dunk list of the “30 Best Written Basketball Movies.” From inspiring true stories to fictional tales of court-side drama, these films capture the essence of the sport, delivering a cinematic experience that resonates with both avid fans and casual viewers. Whether you’re a basketball enthusiast gearing up for the tournament or simply seeking captivating narratives, this curated selection of movies promises to bring the excitement of the game straight to your screen. Lace up your sneakers and get ready for a cinematic journey through the highs, lows, and sheer passion that define the world of basketball.
First on the list of 30 best written basketball movies to celebrate March Madness is Hoosiers. A classic tale of an underdog high school basketball team in Indiana and their journey to the state championship.
2. Coach Carter
Based on a true story, this film follows a high school basketball coach who instills discipline and academic excellence in his players.
3. Glory Road
The inspiring story of the 1966 Texas Western College basketball team, the first team to start five black players in the NCAA national championship.
4. Space Jam
Combining live-action and animation, this film features Michael Jordan teaming up with Looney Tunes characters to win a basketball game against extraterrestrial opponents.
5. White Men Can’t Jump
A comedic take on street basketball, featuring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as hustlers trying to make a living through streetball.
6. Love & Basketball
This romantic drama follows the intertwined lives of a young couple with dreams of playing professional basketball.
7. He Got Game
Directed by Spike Lee, the film tells the story of a high school basketball prodigy and the complexities of recruiting.
8. Blue Chips
A sports drama shedding light on the ethical dilemmas of college basketball recruiting, starring Nick Nolte and Shaquille O’Neal.
9. The Basketball Diaries
Based on the autobiography of Jim Carroll, this film explores the struggles of a promising high school basketball player dealing with addiction.
10. Above the Rim
A gritty urban drama centered around a high-stakes basketball tournament, featuring Tupac Shakur.
11. Finding Forrester
While not exclusively a basketball movie, it features prominent basketball elements as a reclusive writer mentors a talented young player.
12. Like Mike
A family comedy about a young boy who discovers a magical pair of sneakers that gives him basketball skills reminiscent of Michael Jordan.
13. Sunset Park
A drama-comedy about a high school basketball coach in a tough neighborhood who turns around a struggling team.
14. The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend
Based on the true story of Pete Maravich, this film portrays the early life and career of the legendary basketball player.
15. Hurricane Season
Making it half way through the list of 30 best written basketball movies to celebrate March Madness is Hurricane Season. Inspired by real events, the movie recounts the story of a high school basketball team from New Orleans overcoming adversity post-Hurricane Katrina.
16. Basketball: A Love Story
A documentary series that explores the history and impact of basketball, featuring interviews with legends of the game.
17. One on One
A sports drama focusing on the challenges faced by a college basketball player, starring Robby Benson.
A comedy film set in the 1970s, featuring Will Ferrell as the player-owner-coach of a fictional ABA basketball team.
19. Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault
A TV movie that chronicles the life of Earl Manigault, a legendary street basketball player.
20. The Air Up There
A sports comedy featuring Kevin Bacon as a college basketball coach recruiting a talented player from Africa.
A drama that follows two friends aspiring to make it in professional basketball while facing challenges both on and off the court.
22. The Way Back
Directed by Gavin O’Connor, this drama follows a former high school basketball star (played by Ben Affleck) who, years later, finds himself coaching the struggling team at his alma mater. Battling personal demons, he discovers redemption and purpose through the game and his connection with the players. The film explores themes of resilience, second chances, and the transformative power of basketball in the face of adversity.
A sports comedy featuring Whoopi Goldberg as a limo driver who unexpectedly becomes the coach of the New York Knicks.
24. The Winning Season
A sports comedy-drama about a middle-aged man coaching a high school girls’ basketball team and leading them to unexpected success.
25. Fast Break
A comedy about a New York gambler who becomes the coach of a college basketball team with a unique and unconventional approach.
26. The Mighty Macs
Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of Cathy Rush, who became the first woman to coach a women’s college basketball team to a national championship.
27. The Sixth Man
A fantasy sports comedy-drama about a college basketball player who dies and comes back as a ghost to help his team win games.
28. Gotta Kick It Up!
A Disney Channel Original Movie based on a true story, following a group of Latina middle school students forming a dance team and finding inspiration in basketball.
29. The Heart of the Game
A documentary that follows the Roosevelt High School girls’ basketball team and their inspirational coach through several seasons.
30. Hoop Dreams
Last on the list of 30 best written basketball movies to celebrate March Madness is Hoop Dreams. A critically acclaimed documentary that chronicles the lives of two African American high school students in Chicago aspiring to become professional basketball players.