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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4,702 ( 414)

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Seasons


Years



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

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)
...
 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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Can a straight shooter cut it with this bunch of rough, razor-sharp kids from the street? (season 1) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

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Details

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Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the two instances where Coach Reeves (Ken Howard) "dunked", he had to use an off camera ramp. He did this in both the pilot episode and in Season 1's "Wanna Bet" during the game with Bobby Magum ('Michael Warren'). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Morris Thorpe: [a new kid shows up wearing a basketball letter jacket] Relax, that jacket said Montana. There can't be more than three high schools in the whole territory.
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Connections

Featured in Black to the Future: Hour 1: The 70s (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Show Ahead of its Time
7 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Count me among the many others who loved this show. As an 11 year old kid who ate, drank and slept sports, this show was one of the best things going. As a young adult, I viewed it with the same love but with a much different perspective. The White Shadow featured a racially mixed inner city basketball team coached by a caucasian former pro player named Ken Reeves. At first viewed as an outsider unable to relate to a group of city kids, he gradually wins their trust. The show tackled sensitive issues in an honest, believable manner and dealt with the often grim realities facing both kids and teachers in an inner city setting. The basketball action was also very well done- impressive considering many feature films depicting athletics show actors trying unconvincingly to play or compete.

It is hard to believe this show is nearly 30 years old. The subject matter on The White Shadow could easily be depicted today- things change and yet they stay the same. Sadly, this is yet another show that didn't last long that nonetheless was both entertaining and worthwhile on so many levels.

Today, I am a high school teacher and coach partly because of the influence this show had on me personally. I really wish we could turn back the clock and get shows of this quality and long term impact again.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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