Netflix added a beloved basketball movie! Coach Carter starring Samuel L. Jackson is now available for viewing, having landed on the streaming app on March 1. Since then, it's been in its Top 10 most popular streamed list. The 2005 drama stars Jackson as Coach Ken Carter. Based on a true story, Carter becomes the head basketball coach for Richmond High School. He made headlines in 1999 for suspending his undefeated high school basketball team due to their poor academic results. Parents and eventgoers were outraged and sought to have Carter fired. In the end, he prevailed, and several of his players went on to play at the collegiate level and performed well academically.
Jackson and Carter met and spent time together in order to help Jackson prepare for the role. The film was perceived well by audiences and grossed $76 million at the box office by the end of its theatrical run. Audiences enjoyed the heart of the story about a coach forgoing athletics for the betterment of his team's education. Not much of the film differed from the true story, with the exception of the duration of time Carter actually locked the gym.
The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures, with the backing of MTV Studios. Coach Carter also starred Ashanti, Robert Ri'chard, Rob Brown, Adrienne Bailon, and future Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer. An accompanying soundtrack featuring the lead single "Hopeful" with rapper Twista and R&B singer Faith Evans was a commercial success.
Jackson was immediately drawn to the role and his co-stars credited him with keeping everyone on point. "I believe in education and it's not often that I do something that has social significance and I think that this is an interesting message to put out there to kids," he said of his decision to do the film in 2005, per Movie Web. "That playing basketball, football, soccer or whatever you do in school is an extracurricular activity. Getting an education is the one thing that can't be taken away from you. In doing the research for this project, it was interesting to find out that out of the thousands of kids that play basketball on the college level, there are only about 300-something NBA jobs. So, are you good enough to get one of those jobs? If not, then you better get your education and then you look at the bigger picture."