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And for me, the major draw was that the girl got to have her cake and eat it too. With a lot of films, I can see why someone from a certain area might not want to check it out, but this one, with the love dynamic and the relationships among the family members, has a lot to offer.
Well, it really is about the girl, about Sanaa’s character Monica. I think it’s important, especially for black cinema, because we don’t get to see too often the father and son bonded beyond biological circumstances: this father raised his kid, living in the house with the mother. To me it’s not a surprise, it’s just a process of events.
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.
“Love & Basketball” was the first film by writer and director Gina Prince-Bythewood, who after first trying to make the move from television with a comedy about four friends in college, scrapped that idea and in 1997 began writing what she knew: growing up as a female basketball player.
He began writing poetry, short stories and songs at the age of ten and attended the Fiorello H.
La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
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.
And yes, still fall in love with the boy next door.
It’s a new slice of African American life, with basketball as a backdrop.
It’s refreshing in that it’s part of that new movement in black films, looking at the middle class, both the kids come from two-parent household, so it’s not against all odds, or basketball or die.
He lived in several neighborhoods while growing up (Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York and East Flatbush ).
His parents divorced during his childhood and he was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal.
Early in Epps's career, he was most often cast in the roles of troubled teens and/or athletes.