On this day in 1998, Spike Lee‘s 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks released the Brooklyn-based drama He Got Game, starring Denzel Washington and NBA star Ray Allen.

Allen did a remarkable job as “Jesus Shuttlesworth”, a phenomenal b-ball star out of Coney Island, Brooklyn who faces tremendous obstacles, with the largest having to forgive his father, Jake Shuttlesworth(played by Denzel) for killing his mother in an accident. The college of his choice was up for grabs and the powers that be attempted to dangle his father’s freedom between them as a prize for choosing the college of “their” choice.

Set in the part of Coney Island beyond Stillwell Avenue, past the bumper cars, roller coasters and rides, where there lies a pool of social sharks looking to sink their teeth into anything or anyone that may rise above their conditions. Definitely one of the “hood” flicks from the Black Directors Era that really touched both the sports community and society at large.

Salute to Spike, Denzel, Ray Allen, Rosario Dawson, Jim Brown and the rest of the all-star cast who made this movie a Hip Hop classic!