8.1/10
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16 user 4 critic

The White Shadow 

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.

Creator:

Bruce Paltrow
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Episodes

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 Howard ...  Ken Reeves 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Kevin Hooks ...  Morris Thorpe 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Byron Stewart Byron Stewart ...  Warren Coolidge 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Timothy Van Patten ...  Mario 'Salami' Pettrino 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Joan Pringle ...  Sybil Buchanan 53 episodes, 1978-1981
Thomas Carter ...  James Hayward 42 episodes, 1978-1981
Nathan Cook Nathan Cook ...  Milton Reese 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ken Michelman Ken Michelman ...  Abner Goldstein 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ira Angustain Ira Angustain ...  Ricky Gomez 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Erik Kilpatrick Erik Kilpatrick ...  Curtis Jackson 39 episodes, 1978-1980
John Mengatti ...  Nick Vitaglia / ... 34 episodes, 1979-1981
Ed Bernard Ed Bernard ...  Jim Willis / ... 33 episodes, 1978-1980
Russell Phillip Robinson 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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thomas Carter (James Hayward), Kevin Hooks (Morris Thorpe) and Timothy Van Patten (Mario 'Salami' Pettrino) have worked behind the camera. All three men have directed and/or produced numerous television programs years after 'The White Shadow' ended its run in 1981. 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.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A Show Ahead of its Time
7 January 2007 | by ramsfanSee 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.


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