The 10 Best Basketball Movies (With Snacks to Match)

Craving more hardwood action, even after watching the big game? Make your way through 10 of the best basketball movies of all time, and satisfy your cravings with snacks that match

Twitter Facebook

Each year, college basketball commands the attention of thousands of sports fans across the country. Whether you’ve got a team shooting for the championship title or you’re just bent on racking up bracket winnings, you’re likely on the edge of your seat until your team is ousted or the season comes to a close.

On occasion, however, you might simply want a break from the chaos without totally disconnecting from basketball. 

Our recommendation? Kick back and watch a timeless basketball movie. Here, we’ll walk you through a variety of basketball flicks often ranked among the best of the best, plus snacks and drinks to munch on while you watch them.

Space Jam (1997)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

Sometimes, the best way to recover from a difficult moment (read: watching your team flop) is by immersing yourself in something that’s familiar and comforting. For many, Space Jam is just that, which is why we’re mentioning the obvious choice first. 

This blockbuster’s plot couldn’t get stranger. Swackhammer (an alien theme park owner voiced by Danny DeVito) needs a new attraction for Moron Mountain (his theme park), and he decides the Looney Tunes are the perfect fit. The Looney Tunes then challenge Swackhammer’s alien henchmen (the Nerdlucks) to a game of basketball to avoid being whisked into space, only for their otherworldly adversaries to steal the talents of Earth’s finest basketball players. Luckily, one basketball hero still has his skills intact: the recently retired Michael Jordan. Who better to save the day?

Pair With:

For an appropriately celestial treat, stock up on Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies before you dive into this wonky classic. Don’t be afraid to add other Little Debbie classics, too—hard to go wrong with Zebra Cakes and Oatmeal Creme Pies. Watching with an adult crowd? Crack open a bottle of Elysian Space Dust IPA to round out the night.

Shop These Items:

Coach Carter (2005)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

Starring the inimitable Samuel L. Jackson, Coach Carter is an inspiring basketball flick based on the true story of high school basketball coach Ken Carter. The film follows Carter as he whips his Richmond, California team into shape through strict discipline, then plunges into an undefeated season—only to halt the season partway through as his players’ grades drop below his standards, disappointing his team and the community alike. It’s not a light watch, but it’s one you won’t soon forget.

Pair With:

There’s no better way to absorb a classic movie than with a Coke and a bag of popcorn to help emulate the spirit of a real theater—especially if your local theaters have been closed for months.

Shop These Items:

Teen Wolf (1985)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

More than a decade before Space Jam hit the silver screen, Teen Wolf set the standard for ridiculousness within the world of basketball-themed media. It’s an oddball coming-of-age comedy starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, an unremarkable high school basketball player on a less-than-stellar team whose life (and basketball career) is turned upside down when he discovers that he’s—you guessed it—a werewolf. Perhaps not what you’d expect to see on a “best of” list, but it’s a singular flick that’s heartwarming enough to warrant your attention.

Pair With:

Teen Wolf is an ’80s movie through and through, so why not compliment it with popular ’80s snacks? Think Cool Ranch Doritos (they dropped in ’86), Bagel Bites (which debuted in ’85) and Lunchables (they hit the shelves in ’89).

Shop These Items:

Hoop Dreams (1994)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

Hoop Dreams was originally planned as a 30-minute PBS program. It’s a modest beginning that reflects the humble origins of its main subjects, William Gates and Arthur Agee, both Black high school basketball stars recruited into a notable (and mostly white) basketball program.

In the end, however, the film grew into a feature-length documentary that chronicles the players’ often rocky pursuit of basketball stardom, highlighting heavy issues that continue to stimulate insightful discussion—race, class, education and more. It’s garnered critical acclaim, earning not only the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, but an Academy Award nomination for its editing.

Pair With:

Hoop Dreams takes place in Chicago, a city that’s notoriously proud of its deep-dish pizza. That makes pizza the perfect match for this celebrated documentary, even if you’re not a deep-dish fanatic.

Shop These Items:

Glory Road (2006)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

Glory Road is another basketball film that’s based on a true story, and like many legendary sports flicks, it focuses on an outsider team that’s put to the test. The movie follows Texas Western College coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) as he attempts to make the most of an underfunded program by recruiting and rigorously training a majority-Black team (unheard of at the time) powered by raw talent. Overarching themes of race and perseverance make this classic just as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. 

Pair With:

Celebrate the Miners’ Texas spirit with snacks inspired by the Lone Star State. Scarf down some Tex-Mex to start—empanadas and taquitos are both great choices—then sate your appetite with spicy-hot Takis or BBQ chips.

Shop These Items:

Love & Basketball (2000)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

We’ve already mentioned Looney Tunes, werewolves and documentaries, but we’ve yet to touch on a more common movie cliché: true love. 

The aptly named Love & Basketball follows the lives of Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan), neighbors and on-and-off sweethearts whose fiery relationship is built upon a mutual passion for the game. It’s an engaging basketball film even on a surface level, but its major themes—which range from gender inequality in sports to the importance of relentlessly following your dreams—will help keep your eyes glued to the screen.

Pair With:

The natural match for a romantic flick? Chocolate and red wine. Dig in and loosen up as you work through the film’s heart-wrenching twists and turns.

Shop These Items:

Hoosiers (1986)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

The 1986 classic Hoosiers was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2001, which highlights its significance not only in the world of basketball, but in the film industry as a whole. The movie presents a gripping take on a familiar premise—a small-town high school basketball team, a temperamental coach (played by Gene Hackman) and a make-or-break opportunity for glory and redemption. Hoosiers scooped up Academy Award noms for Dennis Hopper’s performance as the local drunk/assistant coach, Shooter, and for its Jerry Goldsmith score.

Pair With:

The magic of a high school basketball game wouldn’t be complete without concession stand snacks: Hot dogs, pretzels and candy are the perfect accompaniment, with your soda of choice to wash it all down.

Shop These Items:

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

White Men Can’t Jump is a uniquely wild romp in which Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) con their way through LA’s street basketball scene. Their relationship is far from smooth, however, and its conflicts will keep you on the edge of the seat even while the film’s more comedic bits lift your spirits. 

Pair With:

Without delving deep enough to spoil one of the movie’s bigger moments, you’ll want to pair this movie with foods that start with the letter Q. Our recommendation? Queso and a big bag of your favorite chips. Or, if you’d rather make something on your own, try our simple quesadilla recipe.

Shop These Items:

Above the Rim (1994)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

Shot in Harlem, Above the Rim weaves an engaging narrative about the influence of both basketball and violence on inner-city life. 

Duane Martin portrays Kyle Watson, a star high school player with sights set on the big leagues. As a local street tournament draws closer, Kyle is forced to decide whether his loyalty lies with Birdie (Tupac Shakur), a local gangster, or Shep (Leon Robinson), a former high school basketball star turned security guard. Then, once he’s made his decision, he’s forced to deal with its consequences—however disastrous they may be.

Pair With:

Honor the memory of a rap luminary by watching Above the Rim along with one of 2Pac’s favorite foods: chicken wings. Simple, but irresistible.

Shop These Items:

He Got Game (1998)

Stream on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVUDU

IMDb

He Got Game is nearly always ranked as one of the best basketball movies of all time. Denzel Washington delivers a formidable performance as Jake Shuttleworth, a father and prisoner who’s offered early release if he can convince his son, high school basketball prodigy Jesus Shuttleworth (Ray Allen), to sign with the state governor’s alma mater. Unsurprisingly, the plan isn’t as simple as it sounds, and the film unfolds as an emotional examination of the role family can play in the pursuit of one’s goals.

Pair With:

A movie this heavy goes best with comfort food, so choose whatever you love most. Mac and cheese and ice cream are common picks, or maybe you’d prefer to whip up our classic grilled cheese recipe—your call.

Shop These Items:

Enjoy the Show

Think you’re ready to get your basketball watch party off the ground? Gopuff the frozen food, snacks, alcohol and other drinks you need to make it happen.

Food & Drinkbasketball ncaa tournament snacks
Order in Seconds,
Delivered in Minutes.
Daily essentials straight to your door.
Start Shopping