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The White Shadow (1978–1981)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Sport
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 709 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

A white former NBA professional retires from the pro game and gets a job as a basketball coach in a predominantly black inner-city high school.


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3   2   1  
1981   1980   1979   1978  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Ken Reeves (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
 Morris Thorpe (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
Byron Stewart ...
 Warren Coolidge (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
 Mario 'Salami' Pettrino (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
Joan Pringle ...
 Sybil Buchanan (53 episodes, 1978-1981)
 James Hayward (42 episodes, 1978-1981)
Nathan Cook ...
 Milton Reese (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ken Michelman ...
 Abner Goldstein (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ira Angustain ...
 Ricky Gomez (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Erik Kilpatrick ...
 Curtis Jackson (39 episodes, 1978-1980)
 Nick Vitaglia / ... (34 episodes, 1979-1981)
Ed Bernard ...
 Jim Willis / ... (33 episodes, 1978-1980)
Russell Phillip Robinson ...
 Manager Phil Jefferson / ... (25 episodes, 1979-1980)


Ken Reeves was a professional basketball player who had to retire because of injuries. Against his sister Katie's advice, Ken takes a job as the basketball coach at Carver High School in Los Angeles, a tough, mixed-race school. Jim Willis, Ken's friend, was the principal for the first two seasons and was replaced by Sybil Buchanan, the former vice-principal, in the third year. Written by J.E. McKillop <jack-mckillop@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sport





Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the pilot episode, mens high-school basketball head-coach, Ken Reeves drove a snazzy red Mustang convertible sports car. In subsequent episodes, he is seen driving only an old station wagon, probably in an attempt to show Reeves as more down-to-earth instead of a glamorous and retired National Basketball Association athlete. See more »


Ken Reeves' NBA career is referred to several times in the series, but the number of years and the teams he played on seem to change each time. For instance, he tells reporter Sally Adams in "The Offer" that he was in the Chicago Bulls' starting lineup for 10 seasons. In "Wanna Bet", street hustler Bobby Magum remembers Reeves playing for Chicago, Denver, and Milwaukee. Finally, in "Little Orphan Abner", he tells Abner Goldstein's grandparents he spent the last six years of his career with the Bulls. See more »


Jim Willis: You had it easy sonny boy. You'll never know what it's like have to sit in the back of the bus and then give up your seat to a white man or pee in your pants because you can't find a bathroom that'll take you... Now I know a racist when I see one. And I'm looking at one right now.
See more »


Featured in Ego Trip's Race-O-Rama (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

The Best Show Ever
5 July 2003 | by (Las Vegas, NV) – See all my reviews

The White Shadow was not just one of the best sports shows ever, but it was one of the best shows overall. When you tuned in to The White Shadow, you didn't just see some high school kids on a basketball team with an ex-pro as their coach, you saw them deal with real-life problems and situations. Addictions (Jackson). Gangs (Gomez). STDs (Coolidge, Thorpe). Death (Jackson). I will admit, it wasn't the same when the players "graduated", but the new cast wasn't as bad as some think they were. They were just never given the same opportunities. When Goldstein, Hayward, Jackson, Reese, and Gomez were replaced, the storylines then mainly revolved around the returning players, namely, Coolidge, Thorpe, Salami, and Vitaglia. Stone wasn't too bad. Neither was Mitchell. I would love to see this series on DVD some day. Also, does anyone remember Phil ever saying anything?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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