He Got Game

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

He Got Game (Touchstone Movie)

“He Got Game” is a sports drama film released by Touchstone Pictures in 1998. Directed by Spike Lee, the movie stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate and former basketball star who is granted a temporary release to convince his estranged son, Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by NBA player Ray Allen), to sign with a particular college basketball team.

The film revolves around the complex father-son relationship between Jake and Jesus. Jake is serving time for accidentally killing Jesus’ mother, and he sees this temporary release as a chance to reconnect with his son and persuade him to make a life-changing decision regarding his basketball career.

As the clock ticks down to the signing deadline, Jake and Jesus spend a turbulent and emotional week together. Jake tries to use the basketball scholarship as leverage to gain Jesus’ forgiveness, while Jesus struggles to navigate the pressures and temptations of fame and the expectations of those around him.

“He Got Game” delves deep into the world of college sports, exposing the corrupt and exploitative nature of recruiting young athletes. The film also addresses issues of race, fame, and the impact of the sports industry on the lives of young players.

Spike Lee’s direction brings a gritty and authentic feel to the movie, capturing the essence of street basketball culture and the challenges faced by African-American athletes. The film’s soundtrack, featuring the music of Public Enemy, adds to its powerful and evocative atmosphere.

“He Got Game” received critical acclaim for its performances, particularly Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Jake Shuttlesworth, and Ray Allen’s impressive debut acting role as Jesus Shuttlesworth. The film has become a favorite among basketball enthusiasts and fans of sports dramas alike.

Beyond the basketball court, “He Got Game” is ultimately a story of redemption, forgiveness, and the bonds between a father and his son. It tackles complex themes and social issues while delivering a compelling and emotional narrative. As a result, the film has remained a timeless and thought-provoking addition to the world of sports cinema.

Additional Details


  • Denzel Washington: Jake Shuttlesworth
  • Ray Allen: Jesus Shuttlesworth
  • Jade Yorker: Jesus Shuttlesworth (age 12)
  • Milla Jovovich: Dakota Barns
  • John Turturro: Coach Billy Sunday
  • Rosario Dawson: Lala Bonilla
  • Jim Brown: Spivey
  • Joseph Lyle Taylor: Crudup
  • Hill Harper: Coleman “Booger” Sykes
  • Shortee Reed: Coleman “Booger” Sykes (age 12)
  • Zelda Harris: Mary Shuttlesworth
  • Quinn Harris: Mary Shuttlesworth (age 6)
  • Ned Beatty: Warden Marcel Wyatt
  • Bill Nunn: Uncle Bubba
  • Thomas Jefferson Byrd: Sweetness
  • Roger Guenveur Smith: Big Time Willie
  • Lonette McKee: Martha Shuttlesworth
  • Travis Best: Sip
  • Walter McCarty: Mance
  • Kim Director: Lynn
  • John Wallace: Lonnie
  • Rick Fox: Chick Deagan
  • Leonard Roberts: D’Andre Mackey
  • Jennifer Esposito: Ms. Janus
  • Chasey Lain: Buffy (listed: Tiffany Jones)
  • Jill Kelly: Suzie
  • Al Palagonia: Dom Pagnotti


  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Producers: Jon Kilik and Spike Lee
  • Writer: Spike Lee

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.