IMDb > Hoop Dreams (1994)
Hoop Dreams
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Hoop Dreams (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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Hoop Dreams -- Filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates as they navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics while striving to overcome the intense pressures of family life and the realities of their Chicago streets.
Hoop Dreams -- A film following the lives of two African American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Hoop Dreams -- A film following the lives of two African American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.


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8.3/10   18,042 votes »
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Release Date:
14 October 1994 (USA) See more »
An Extraordinary True Story.
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 21 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A real, human drama See more (74 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

William Gates ... Himself

Arthur Agee ... Himself
Emma Gates ... Herself - William's Mother
Curtis Gates ... Himself - William's Brother

Sheila Agee ... Herself - Arthur's Mother
Arthur 'Bo' Agee ... Himself - Arthur's Father
Earl Smith ... Himself - Talent Scout
Gene Pingatore ... Himself - High School Basketball Coach

Isiah Thomas ... Himself - Professional Basketball Player
Marlyn Hopewell ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor (as Sister Marlyn Hopewell)
Bill Gleason ... Himself - Television Reporter
Patricia Weir ... Herself - President: Encyclopedia Brittanica
Marjorie Heard ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor
Luther Bedford ... Himself - High School Basketball Coach
Aretha Mitchell ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor
Shannon Johnson ... Himself - Arthur's Friend
Tomika Agee ... Herself - Arthur's Sister
Joe 'Sweetie' Agee ... Himself - Arthur's Brother
Jazz Agee ... Herself - Tomika's Daughter and Arthur's Niece
Catherine Mines ... Herself - William's Girlfriend
Alicia Mines ... Herself - William's Daughter
Alvin Bibbs ... Himself - William's Brother-in-Law
Willie Gates ... Himself - William's Father
James Kelly ... Himself - High School Teacher and Registrar
Michael O'Brie ... Himself - High School Finance Director

Dick Vitale ... Himself - Television Sports Commentator
Kevin O'Neill ... Himself - Marquette University Head Basketball Coach
Bobby Knight ... Himself - Indiana University Head Basketball Coach
Joey Meyer ... Himself - DePaul University Head Basketball Coach
Frank DuBois ... Himself - Camp Academic Director

Spike Lee ... Himself - Film Director
Bo Ellis ... Himself - Marquette University Assistant Basketball Coach
Bob Gibbons ... Himself - Basketball Scout
Dennis Doyle ... Himself - High School Assistant Basketball Coach
Clarence Webb ... Himself - High School Science Teacher
Stan Wilson ... Himself - Basketball Scout
Derrick Zinneman ... Himself - High School Basketball Player
Tim Gray ... Himself - Junior College Basketball Coach
Myron Gordon ... Himself - Junior College Basketball Player

Steve James ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elijiah Ephraim ... Himself
Eric Anderson ... Himself (uncredited)
Bobby Cremins ... Himself (uncredited)
Juwan Howard ... Himself (uncredited)

Mike Krzyzewski ... Himself (uncredited)
Rick Pitino ... Himself (uncredited)

Jalen Rose ... Himself (uncredited)
John Thompson ... Himself (uncredited)

Chris Webber ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Steve James 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Steve James 
Frederick Marx 

Produced by
Catherine Allan .... executive producer
Peter Gilbert .... producer
Steve James .... producer
Frederick Marx .... producer
Gordon Quinn .... co-producer
Gordon Quinn .... executive producer
Original Music by
Ben Sidran 
Cinematography by
Peter Gilbert 
Film Editing by
William Haugse 
Steve James 
Frederick Marx 
Production Management
Steve Krahnke .... production manager
Emily Stevens .... production manager: KTCA
Susanne Suffredin .... post-production supervisor (as Suzanne Suffredin)
Sound Department
Cory Coken .... sound mixer
Ric Coken .... sound mixer
Bryen Hensley .... sound mixer
Bill Jenkins .... additional sound
Margaret M.S. Marvin .... sound mixer
Mirko Popadic .... additional sound
Chuck Rapp .... sound mixer
Ed Scott .... additional sound
Adam Singer .... sound
Tom Yore .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Fetterley .... additional photographer
Richard Holland .... still photographer: production stills
Ada Kolmodin .... still photographer: production stills
Sid Lubitsch .... additional photographer
Kevin McCarey .... additional photographer
Jim Morrissette .... additional photographer
Mirko Popadic .... additional photographer
Gordon Quinn .... additional photographer
Ed Scott .... additional photographer
Adam Singer .... still photographer: production stills
Editorial Department
Lou Anastas .... assistant editor
Linda Balek .... assistant editor
Fenell Doremus .... assistant editor
Fenell Doremus .... post-production coordinator
Jim Fetterley .... assistant editor
Sarah Galloway .... assistant editor
Lisa Hubbard .... assistant editor
Robert Jung .... colorist
Allen Kelly .... colorist
Neil Laird .... assistant editor
Craig Leffel .... colorist
Oscar Oboza .... colorist (as Oscar Oboza Jr.)
Music Department
Ben Sidran .... music producer
Tom Yore .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Paul Andrews .... additional on-line
David A. Baran .... intern: Kartemquin (as David Baran)
Gerry Berlin .... legal assistance
Brian Boyl .... intern: Kartemquin (as Brian Boyd)
Brian Boyl .... production assistant (as Brian Boyd)
Tony Creer .... intern: Kartemquin
Ena Dahm .... accountant
Fenell Doremus .... staff member: Kartemquin
George Eastman .... title designer
Joanne Elam .... accountant
Brian Farley .... intern: Kartemquin
Brian Farley .... production assistant
Than Feis .... intern: Kartemquin
Jim Fetterley .... staff: Kartemquin
Betsy Fil .... title designer
Vanessa Finch .... intern: Kartemquin
Julia Gibbs .... intern: Kartemquin
Julia Gibbs .... production assistant
Kim Harper .... additional on-line
Laura Hoffman .... researcher
Jenny Sioux Hopkins .... on-line: IPA
John Jackson .... intern: Kartemquin
Tricia John .... accountant
Quentin King .... legal assistance
Lucy Kinsella .... intern: Kartemquin
Neil Laird .... production assistant
Anne LaPorte .... additional on-line (as Anne 'Closure' LaPorte)
Ken Leshin .... additional on-line
Frederick Marx .... on-line: Kartemquin
Teddy Mattera .... intern: Kartemquin
Marcy McCall .... staff: Kartemquin
William Morris .... production assistant (as Bill Morris)
William Morris .... staff: Kartemquin (as Bill Morris)
Jim Morrissette .... technical advisor
Laura Mulhauser .... intern: Kartemquin
Bob Musker .... intern: Kartemquin
Bob Musker .... production assistant
Mark Nielson .... staff: Kartemquin
Jim Olen .... additional on-line
Mike Perelstein .... legal assistance
Brian T. Pitts .... production assistant (as Brian Pitts)
Gordon Quinn .... creative consultant
Tim Reyna .... additional on-line
Gerald Richman .... executive in charge of KTCA
Pam Schmidt .... intern: Kartemquin
Eric Scholl .... on-line: IPA
Pete Senten .... additional on-line
Bill Siegel .... researcher
John Sloss .... legal assistance
Jill Soloway .... staff: Kartemquin
April Sopkin .... intern: Kartemquin
Melissa Sterne .... on-line: Kartemquin
Tom Sullens .... intern: Kartemquin
Eric Torres .... intern: Kartemquin
Ralph Walsh .... intern: Kartemquin
Stephanie Wertlake .... staff: Kartemquin
Angela Wood .... intern: Kartemquin
Michael Apted .... thanks
D.L. Bean .... thanks
Luther Bedford .... special thanks: Marshall High School
Frank Beidler .... special thanks: program support (as Pru and Frank Beidler)
Pru Beidler .... special thanks: program support (as Pru and Frank Beidler)
Alvin Bibbs .... thanks (as Alvin and Peggy Bibbs)
Peggy Bibbs .... thanks (as Alvin and Peggy Bibbs)
David Blair .... thanks
Jerry Blumenthal .... thanks
Patricia Boero .... thanks
Bob Boone .... thanks: Glencoe Study Center
Jim Bostrum .... thanks
Ray Boyer .... thanks
Walter Brody .... thanks: Sound Ideas
Beverly Brooks .... thanks
Steve Brown .... thanks
Margaret Caples .... thanks
Al Cohn .... thanks
Johnny Lee Davenport .... thanks (as Johnnie Lee Davenport)
Frank DuBois .... thanks
Bob Ebel .... thanks
Harry Edwards .... thanks
Bill Firnbach .... thanks
Michael Flaherty .... special thanks: St. Joseph High School (as Principal Brother Michael Flarherty)
Greg Gaither .... thanks
Don Garvey .... thanks
John O. Gibson .... special thanks: Marshall High School (as Principal John O. Gibson)
Arnie Gilbert .... thanks: life support
Dru Gilbert .... thanks: life support
Temmie Gilbert .... thanks: life support
Tim Gray .... thanks
Larry Hawkins .... thanks
Sandra Heberer .... thanks
John Hefferon .... thanks (as Dr. John Hefferon)
Jim Hennessey .... thanks (as Jim Hennessey and Katje Rooney)
Tod Himmel .... thanks
Kathy Hurley .... thanks
John Iltis .... thanks (as David Sikich & John Iltis)
Scott Jacobs .... thanks
Imogene James .... thanks: life support
William James .... thanks: life support
Michael Jordan .... thanks
David Kaplan .... thanks
Jack Kaplan .... thanks
Barbara Kopple .... thanks
Tom Kowalski .... thanks
Peter Kuttner .... thanks
Richard Lapchick .... thanks
Kirk LaVine .... thanks
Richard Mandeberg .... thanks
Don Marbury .... thanks
Ellen Marx .... thanks: life support
Larry Marx .... thanks: life support
Miriam Marx .... thanks: life support
Bernard McKune .... thanks
Edonnya Merritt .... thanks
Rich Moskel .... thanks
Salim Muwakkil .... thanks
William Nelson .... thanks
Margie Nicholson .... thanks
Delano O'Bannion .... thanks
Jim O'Boyle .... thanks: KOST Broadcast Sales
Kevin O'Neill .... thanks
Carol Obertubbesing .... thanks
Mary Patton .... thanks
Richard Pena .... thanks
John Pierson .... thanks
Francine Pope .... thanks
Tom Radtke .... thanks
Jenny Rohrer .... thanks
Katje Rooney .... thanks (as Jim Hennessey and Katje Rooney)
Judy Roth .... thanks: life support
John Schram .... thanks: Sports Management Network
Jane Schrepel .... thanks
Barbara Searle .... thanks
Michael Shepley .... thanks
Alan Siegel .... thanks
David Sikich .... thanks (as David Sikich & John Iltis)
Margot Stern Strom .... thanks
Art Taylor .... thanks
Carol Taylor .... thanks
Jim Taylor .... thanks
Susan Taylor .... thanks: life support
Isiah Thomas .... thanks
Barbara Trent .... thanks
Joyce Washington .... special thanks: Marshall High School
Howard Weinberg .... thanks
Tom Weinberg .... thanks
Woody Wickham .... thanks
Chuck Wielgus .... thanks
Janette Wilson .... thanks
Alexander Wolff .... thanks
Preston Wolin .... thanks (as Dr. Preston Wolin)
Gary Wood .... thanks
Dan Woods-Lindley .... special thanks: program support (as Dan and Lucia Woods-Lindley)
Lucia Woods-Lindley .... special thanks: program support (as Dan and Lucia Woods-Lindley)
Clarence Wordlaw .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for drug content and some strong language
170 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

During filming, the electricity was turned off in the Agee home. The filmmakers paid for the lights to be turned back on.See more »
[first lines]
Announcer:Welcome to the 38th Annual NBA All Star game from Chicago Stadium.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) (TV)See more »
The Bus Stop - Electric SlideSee more »


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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
A real, human drama, 10 May 2005
Author: dee.reid from United States

"Hoop Dreams" is a film about real life, because that is what it's exactly about, real life. I feel that I must put a stronger emphasis on the word "real" to get my point across. This isn't some hokey, Hollywood drama about living out a dream, but is about two aspiring young athletes rising out of the dredges of the Chicago ghetto life and into the flash and glitter of the NBA.

Though I'm not a hardcore sports fan, nor am I really into movies about sports, but I really admire basketball, as I feel it has a kind of grace and natural balance that's lacking in most other sports this vigorous. That is why I like some of the film's exhilarating on-court action that is interspersed evenly with the human drama.

Directed by Steve James and produced by Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert, "Hoop Dreams" originally began as a 30-minute documentary about rising ballplayers, but the filmmakers quickly saw that 30 minutes was just too narrow a scope for their story. This realization came when they witnessed two teens, William Gates and Arthur Agee, as they both try to join the NBA, much like their idol Isiah Thomas.

In total, 250+ hours of footage was gathered over the course of a five-year period and then edited into an engaging 171-minute documentary, following the two teens (from ages 14-18), as they attend expensive Catholic schools, go through the rigorous on-court training, meet the demands of their coaches, and live out their dreams. (Director Spike Lee also appears at a training camp and gives some of the aspiring players some less-than-inspiring advice about what their skills mean to the people at the top of the ladder.)

We watch as their poignant, real-life struggles unfold on the screen, and watch as time after time they get stonewalled by the system of bureaucracy and racism that's meant to be especially hard on two young black boys from the ghetto. They have difficulty with making decent grades, financial issues, preparing for the ACT, sports-related injuries, and must contend with problems at home as well, including trouble with family matters (Arthur's relationship with his father is especially touching and sad; William welcomes a new addition to his family while still in high school).

For years, success stories, such as "Hoop Dreams," have dominated Hollywood cinema and have won over legions of audiences, but we've never seen anything like this. Gates and Agee are both bright-eyed and ambitious that they're embarking on something that's historically significant to their lives and community.

This is the best movie about basketball and reality I've seen yet because of the simple fact that it's real; no scripts, no phony Hollywood theatrics, just "real" action, drama, and emotions.


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