When you want to talk Brooklyn, no one better does it than Spike Lee. Atlanta, born; Brooklyn raised, the filmmaker’s roots dig deep into centralizing the good in African American communities rather than what many films depict in focusing on crime-laden, gun slinging and drug infestation.
Such was the case on May 1. 1997, Lee released “He Got Game;” 19 years ago today!
The world became familiar with a young man from Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School named Jesus Shuttlesworth. That role was played by Ray Allen, then a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Shuttlesworth was named after ‘Baby Jesus’ from from Southwest Philadelphia’s John Bartram High School.
Who you say?
Further down Interstate 95, New York Knicks fans knew him as Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe.
In “He Got Game,” Shuttlesworth was one of the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation.
The film, starred Allen alongside Denzel Washington. The film focused on the recruiting process of Shuttlesworth and the incarceration of his father, Jake Shuttlesworth, played by Washington.
Although almost twenty years old, the film still is quite topical for today’s recruiting world.
Actor, Hill Harper played the role of Jesus Shuttlesworth’s cousin, Booger, in the film. On a recent episode of Scoop B Radio, Harper marveled at his work ethic. “He was shooting and playing every day,” Harper said on Scoop B Radio. “He wanted to do well as far as the acting was concerned, wanted to do well as far as the basketball was concerned.”
Check Out Hill Harper Chatting with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson On Scoop B Radio
Harper is smart, indeed. Allen won two championships with the LeBron James, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat during their Big 3 era.
On Allen’s success, Harper said:
“People that I know who are successful and have longevity, they have work ethics and it comes down to that and he obviously had that. When he was acting, he wanted to be the best that he could be. When he was playing ball, he wanted to be the very best that he could be.”
“He Got Game,” gave the world a glimpse into the life of a blue chip athlete and grossed 22.4 million in the box office.