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‘Love and Basketball’ director Gina Prince-Bythewood shares fun facts about debut film on its 20th anniversary


Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesLove and Basketball turns 20 this week.  Sanaa Lathan starred in the film as Monica Wright, alongside Omar Epps as Quincy “Q” McCall. The movie follows their childhood as neighbors to competitors to best friends, with a love for basketball only each other could explain.

Fans remember iconic scenes like Monica and Quincy’s first kiss in the yard before school, and the one-on-one basketball game in the wee hours of the night, just two weeks before Quincy’s wedding to another woman. But when it comes to matters of the heart, its “double or nothing.”

To mark the anniversary, the movie’s director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, shared some fun facts about her debut film, including some truths she learned as a new director.

Prince-Bythewood recalled that adolescent Monica and Q, played by Kyla Pratt and Glenndon Chatman, couldn’t get through the kissing scene at first, running away laughing during rehearsals. 

Prince-Bythewood also mentioned attempting to joke one set one day with Lathan, who told her to give her space. She tweeted, “She was trying to get into the moment and I was blocking. lol. New director.” 

Nike sponsored Love and Basketball, which saved Gina from having to spend money. She also suggested that the company began making dresses after Gabrielle Union‘s iconic line in the film, “Damn, girl, I didn’t know Nike made dresses.”

Bythewood and her team also were awarded free flights in Barcelona after Tyra Banks, who played McCall’s fiancée, agreed to wear a Virgin flight attendant uniform in the film. 

Love and Basketball is currently available on Amazon.

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