What makes basketball movies so popular? The reason is that they are fun for people of all ages. Run the gamut from college and high school to kids’ basketball movies; there’s a wide range of movies to choose from.
For this article, we have made a list of the best basketball movies for kids. These are probably some of the greatest movies ever made about basketball. There is no doubt that these movies will bring lots of laughter and joy when you and your little ones watch together.
Best Basketball Movies for Kids
He Got Game (1998)
He Got Game tells a story of a young basketball prospect (Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth) who is struggling to pick the right college basketball scholarship for him.
Denzel Washington has done a wonderful job of portraying the role of Ray Allen’s father. The movie serves some amazing lessons for young kids. It is a must-watch basketball movie for any young aspiring athlete heading into high school or college. However, the movie has some graphic sexual scenes as well as violence.
If you are someone who likes watching something more than reading it, then go ahead and give it a view. The story revolves around some high school kids, which shows the ups and downs of their life for the choices they make. Most teenagers and young adults could relate to the story. There are some sex scenes that are inappropriate for pre-teens.
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Directed by the legendary sports filmmaker Ron Shelton, White Men Can’t Jump is a cult classic basketball movie. The combination of drama, comedy, and real-life stories has made it one of the best basketball movies ever.
You can count on Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes to have a good laugh. If you are a basketball fan, add it to your must-watch collection. There are some steamy sex scenes, so parents should have some discretion.
Semi-pro is a stereotypical sports drama that shows all the highs and lows of the American Basketball Association back in the ’70s. If you like Will Ferrell, the movie will surely feel far more enjoyable.
However, there are some raunchy jokes and scenes which are not appropriate for pre-teen boys.
Above the Rim (1994)
Above the Rim is an excellent basketball film that features stars like Duane Martin, Kyle Watson, and Tupac Shakur. The movie does a wonderful job of serving some invaluable lessons to kids about the importance of true friendship.
It serves a harsh lesson for parents as well, “no kids should grow up in the world with drugs and crime.” The movie also shows the problems single mothers face in society. If you have teenage kids who love shooting hoops with friends in the driveway, then this is a great movie to watch together.
Blue Chips (1994)
Blue Chips offers a good mix of drama and comedy for basketball movie fans. The movie depicts the pressure that amateur athletes and their coaches go through at the college basketball level. Real-life basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal did some great acting in this movie.
This movie has two great lessons for young kids who like basketball. One is “play by the rules.” And the other one is “never let your ego get in the way of success.”
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Hoop Dreams is a great basketball movie that tells the story of two inner-city kids who love playing basketball more than anything. Even if it’s a 3-hour documentary, you will thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.
Can they make it to professional basketball? Or will their dream fade away without proper parental guidance? You have to watch the movie to figure out the ending.
Space Jam (1996)
Who doesn’t love animated films? Space Jam, directed by Joe Pytka, is a live-action sports film featuring basketball greats, Michael Jordan and Wayne Knight. There is no doubt that it’s one of the best-animated sports films ever.
This is a good movie to watch with kids as it sends some good life lessons. Even though released in the mid-late ’90s, young kids will still enjoy watching the silly cartoon characters mixed in with sports.
Love & Basketball (2000)
Love & Basketball is based on a true story of the love between Quentin and Monica. The movie show’s how a young couple falls in love in high school, struggles to keep up with both love and basketball in college, and still finds ways to make their dream come true.
You won’t find many sports movies with a female protagonist. If you have a daughter who loves basketball, you will surely enjoy watching it with your daughter.
Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault (1996)
This is another basketball movie based on a true story. “Rebound” celebrates the game’s most celebrated streetball player Earl Manigault who wasted his basketball talent by heroin addiction.
“No matter how bad things get, there is always a way to make things better for yourself,” this is the message the movie sends to the new generation of kids. Here is an inspirational basketball quote from the movie: “He rose on the court and fell, only to rise again.”
More Than a Game (2008)
What does it take to be one of the greatest basketball players in history? It isn’t just luck. More Than a Game is a superb documentary about the legendary LeBron James and his friends.
The movie shows how a group of inner-city kids fulfilled their dreams despite poverty and adversity, and the importance of perseverance, friendship, teamwork, and sacrifice. The deep life meanings from the movie can inspire anyone.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
The Basketball Diaries is a story of a high school basketball player whose life turns upside down after becoming addicted to drugs. This is really an underrated masterpiece of Leonardo De Caprio. Other than Leonardo, the movie also features stars like Lorraine Bracco, Marc Wahlberg, James Madio, and Patrick McGaw.
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This informative film should be a must-watch for aspiring teenage athletes.
Finding Forrester (2000)
Finding Forrester is a movie about a high school basketball star (Jamal Wallace) who is passionate about writing and reading. To pursue his passion, Jamal must find someone to mentor him. Ultimately Jamal meets William, a reclusive author, and uncovers his unique talent.
The uplifting story of the movie shows how a mentor can help us reach our true potential.
Coach Carter (2005)
This movie isn’t just about basketball; it’s about discipline, resilience, and faith. There is a life lesson for all from the movie, “Never give up even though the deck is stacked against you.”
Glory Road (2006)
Movies can expand our views on different societal issues. The movie highlights racism in sports and the challenges some of the players go through.
This is probably the right time to watch the movie and learn about the history of racism in sports. The movie serves as a painful reminder of how much struggles were typical of the times for black people and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Teen Wolf is a story of an average high school teenager who has a secret wish to become outstanding and special. But he was truly a werewolf. And the secret didn’t last long when he became stressed and turned into a werewolf during a basketball game.
Not just for teens, this is a fun movie for the whole family.
Hoosiers is a timeless basketball movie and definitely one of the best ever. This is a movie about a man’s passion, guts, and determination to excel in sports. This is a must-see for young people because it has some wonderful messages for them about team spirit and communication.
Both Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper have pulled off a fantastic performance in this movie.
The Way Back (2020)
The Way Back will remind you of Hoosiers, but there are some variations. The movie tells the story of a high school basketball coach who is suffering from grief and eventually turns to alcohol. Ben Affleck does a good job as the protagonist of the movie.
The storyline offers a very real depiction of addiction that many viewers can relate to.
This movie is a combination of comedy, sports, and La-Z-Boys. It features Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Ernest Borgnine, Yasmine Bleeth, Dian Bachar, and Trevor Einhorn.
The Mighty Macs (2009)
Women’s basketball is getting better and growing stronger every year. The Mighty Macs symbolizes the start of the women’s athlete movement that led to the foundation of WNMA in 1996. The movie portrays the struggles of a tiny college basketball team and how they went on to achieve their goals through sacrifice, hard work, and perseverance.