Love & Basketball remains a Black classic over 20 years later. Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps wooed the world as Monica Wright and Quincy McCall: two star athletes and childhood friends whose friendship blossoms into romance. The pressures of basketball and outside forces drive the two apart in college, leading to their split. They reconcile as adults two weeks before Quincy is set to marry another woman.
Both actors’ performances in Love & Basketball have been lauded as their best. Fans have been dying for a sequel, but Lathan says it’s not likely.
“Gina Prince-Bythewood would never want to do that. We’ve talked about it. Gina’s response was, ‘No,’ Lathan told Elle, as reported by EBONY. “The imaginations of the audience will have to decide what happens to Monica and Quincy.” Prince-Bythewood began penning the script for the film after she quit her job working as a TV writer in the 90s. The film is semi-autobiographical.
Still, Lathan is proud of the film’s legacy.
“Last year, Love & Basketball became a part of the Criterion Collection, which is such a huge honor,” she explained. “I had a two-hour interview before it, and I couldn’t believe that I was talking about 20 years ago because it really doesn’t feel that long ago. I love that a whole other generation is still enjoying it and getting inspired by her fight and her grit and bravado. I mean, she’s a great role model, right? A lot of people still watch it and are moved by it. That’s all you can ask as an artist.”
Lathan can be seen now in her new Netflix series, Hit & Run.