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The White Shadow (1978–1981)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Sport
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 708 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Coach Reeves attended Boston College, which is where he met principal Willis, who was on the basketball team with him. See more »


At the end of the following episodes, "Wanna Bet?" and "That Old Gang of Mine". The roman numeral of the year 1979 at the end of the credits, was MCMLXXVIX. There was confusion of that because, the "V" should've been removed. The remaining first season episodes were finalized as MCMLXXIX, which was 1979 when the "V" was deleted. See more »


Harold: [after Ken Reeves has done a student reporter a favor] Did you do that as a reward for me writing a positive article?
Ken Reeves: No, I expect to get raked over the coals the next time we lose.
See more »


Referenced in Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

One hell of a good show, indeed.
4 November 2001 | by (Ankara, Turkey) – See all my reviews

"The White Shadow" was my favourite TV-series when I was a ten-year old. As a member of a soccer-crazy nation, it had hit me and a generation of Turks like no other show had. That, I may easily claim, has been the TV show that turned basketball in Turkey from a fringe sport no-one cared about to a sport everyone wanted to participate in. Many who didn't know there was such a sport had become addicts to basketball league games, and the relationship between the team-members at Carver High has become an inspiration to high-school pupils. Now, since the recent Euro'Basket 2001, the TRT TV has began to run the series again. I am very glad to see my wee nephews watch it with the same enthusiasm as I did when I was their age. That's due to the fact that the characters were well-written, the subjects very-well chosen, and the acting was pure brilliant. I don't know if any other high-school drama can match it years later in terms of its density, strength, and meaningfulness. I'm glad it was on years ago, I'm glad they show it again in 2001. Pity Ken Howard and the rest of the cast couldn't make it as big as they deserved later on. One thing is for sure, though, they'll always be remembered as Coach Reeves, Coolidge, Salami, Thorpe and so...

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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