24 Behind-The-Scenes Trivia About 'Love & Basketball'

Take a look at some of the facts and trivia about the 2000 classic romantic sports movie that almost featured famous athletes, and almost had an R rating because the MPAA thought a particular scene was “too real.” Bet you don't know which scene we're talking about. No, seriously, we'll give you good odds.

24

LOVE & BASKETBALL Director Gina Prince-Bythewood quit her job in television to write the script. Prince-Bythewood wrote for shows like A Different World and South Central before deciding to focus on her first movie, inspired by her time as a ball player in high school. After writing it for a

LA Times

23

LOVE & BASKETBALL Sanaa Lathan didn't impress the director at first... until she did. Lathan was hired to perform Monica for the Sundance table read, and during rehearsal she didn't produce much of a performance, which made Gina Prince-Bythewood nervous. But when the reading actually started, the stage actress transformed

LA Times

22

LOVE & BASKETBALL New Line said they would give Prince-Bythewood and her movie a chance, but only if she cast Omar Epps as Quincy. Omar was a star at the time, and he was also my first choice, SO there was no compromise whatsoever. We had one phone call, and

LA Times

21

LOVE & BASKETBALL Marion Jones and Serena Williams were both considered for the part of Monica. Jones, the famous track and field athlete and former professional basketball player, read for the part (before the scandal). Williams was considered, but it's not clear whether she actually auditioned for the role

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20

LOVE & BASKETBALL As a UCLA student, Prince-Bythewood was rejected for an undergraduate film program. nOE et Not happy about it, she wrote a letter to appeal the decision, and the board overturned it. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKED CoM

LA Times

19

LOVE & BASKETBALL The ending was originally different, because the WNBA didn't exist yet. WNBA The film was initially going to end with the double or nothing line, but the WNBA came into existence at just the right time. BEHIND THE SCENES

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18

LOVE & BASKETBALL USC wasn't the first choice for the production, but it was the one that said Yes. ISC 32 Prince-Bythewood wanted to have Quincy and Monica go to her alma mater, UCLA, but they said no. Stanford said the movie's characters did not exemplify a Stanford student. BEHIND

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17

LOVE & BASKETBALL Sanaa Lathan didn't have any basketball skills at first. Before she was officially cast, rince-Bythewood had Lathan train with a coach from LA Sparks to see if she could learn the game. She ultimately cast Lathan because she was such a good actress. You can fake a

LA Times

16

LOVE & BASKETBALL The writer-director got some strange initial feedback on her script while she was shopping it around. Quincy looks up at his Mom, surprised. She quickly hugs his face into her stomach. Camille lights up. CAMILLE Oh, me too. I used to cook for my friends parties and

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15

LOVE & BASKETBALL Gabrielle Union originally auditioned for Monica. EREOITION UI STR ER Union plays Shawnee Easton, Quincy's high school girlfriend, but she originally auditioned for the part of Monica. She was told, however, that she didn't look like a baller, even though she was. BEHIND THE SCENES

LA Times

14

LOVE & BASKETBALL The movie is rated PG-13, but at one point it had an R rating. The studio said that Monica should enjoy losing her virginity a bit more. So the director shot additional footage (without any nudity whatsoever), only for the MPAA to come back and say it

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13

LOVE & BASKETBALL Alfre Woodard, who plays Monica's mother Camille Wright, wanted the director to play the female lead. She said that if I agreed to play Monica, she would play my mother. I had never acted before. But she said, Obviously this movie is based on your life. This

ESPN

12

LOVE & BASKETBALL The young actors who play Quincy and Monica couldn't do the kiss during rehearsals. The director says that the kiss only happened on set because Kyla Pratt and Glenndon Chatman couldn't stop laughing and running away from each other during rehearsals. BEHIND THE SCENES

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11

LOVE & BASKETBALL An original draft of the script had Quincy break up Monica's wedding. When the script made it to Sundance, Prince-Bythewood was told that the first three quarters of the film was SO progressive, it would make more sense to let Monica fight for Quincy, instead of going

BBC

10

LOVE & BASKETBALL Sanaa Lathan found the love scenes extremely uncomfortable. Lathan and Omar Epps were dating at the time, and she said it was pretty awkward to be intimate with all the crew members gawking at them. BEHIND THE SCENES

LA Times

9

LOVE & BASKETBALL The director took some mementos with her. nsc USC 32 CRENSE I've got her jerseys, her necklace - the #32 I had the trophy from the championship game in Spain and one of the nets, as well. BEHIND THE SCENES

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8

LOVE & BASKETBALL Gina rince-Bythewood was much harder on the mother character in the original draft. The movie is semi-autobiographical and the writer-director says it made her work through her relationship with her mom. My dad was my biggest cheerleader. My mom would come to games occasionally, but she would

ESPN

7

LOVE & BASKETBALL The Crenshaw High School scenes were shot with actual kids from the school. Monica's te ammates were Crenshaw High's basketball team, and the crowd was local. The USC college ball players were all real players, too, and some of them even played with Prince-Bythewood. BEHIND THE SCENES

Huffington Post

6

LOVE & BASKETBALL The director didn't like the poster, and has the original one on a wall in her house. OuR EpPs SANAA LATHAN ALLS PAIR IH.. LOrE BASHETBHLL IS BASKETBHLL Them kissing and holding the baske tball felt SO corny to me, but they tested it and that was the

Huffington Post

5

LOVE & BASKETBALL The director has a small cameo on court. My thing was to dive on the floor for the ball against Sanaa. It took 13 takes because I kept beating Sanaa to the ball. And I could not not get the ball, SO my knees were jacked by

Huffington Post

4

LOVE & BASKETBALL The vibe on set between the cast members was pretty competitive. SC 9 Sandra Perez-Thomas, who plays Sandra, Monica's USC teammate, said: Any chance we got, it was, 'Let's play 3-on-3.' At one point we were on a track and just started sprinting against each other. We

ESPN

3

LOVE & BASKETBALL The scenes that were set in Barcelona were actually shot there, thanks to Tyra Banks. Virgin Atlantic said they would pay for all the flight tickets to flm in Spain if Tyra Banks wore one of their uniforms in the movie. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKED CoM

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2

LOVE & BASKETBALL The big I'll play you... for your heart scene was shot over two dayS. They wanted to not only get the game technique right, but also make sure the set pieces reflected the dynamics between the two characters and showed what the game was really about. BEHIND

ESPN

1

LOVE & BASKETBALL Even though the film had a lukewarm box-office stint, the response was positive. The movie got a standing ovation at Sundance, but Prince. Bythewood's most memorable response was a card she received from a 17-year-old boy after the first preview that read, It taught me how to

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