Plenty of famous people are good at basketball. That sentence is non-specific; one could assume that it refers to NBA players, professional basketball players who are well-known around the world. However, there are a few “traditional” famous people who are also quite good at basketball; just because they’re not professional ballers, doesn’t mean they can’t school you on the court!
Is Jonah Hill good at basketball? Jonah Hill is a 39-year old American actor, comedian, and filmmaker, known best for his roles in Superbad, The Wolf of Wall Street, and 21 Jump Street. Hill is an NBA fan who has been seen sitting courtside at NBA games. He is seen “playing” basketball in his movie ‘You People’ and appeared alongside some NBA greats in a joint promo for his movie 22 Jump Street and the 2014 NBA FInals. It is clear from the footage that Hill is not a natural basketball player, in my educated opinion I would say that no, Jonah Hill is most certainly not good at basketball.
Let’s break down what we know about Jonah Hill’s Basketball prowess below, so you don’t have to take my word for it.
The NBA Finals x 22 Jump Street Promo
- Is it proof Jonah Hill is a baller?
The embedded video below show’s Jonah Hill on a basketball court with some big time NBA legends and Ice Cube, known to mess around and get a triple double in his day.
Embed as you tube
The NBA legends you see in the video are Dr J, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler and Robert Hory. Elite company to be sure and all clearly better than Hill, despite his age.
The first thing we see Hill do with the ball is catch a solid chest pass from one of the NBA guys out of shot, Jonah has to bat the ball down to the ground to secure the catch. The kind of thing that gets coached out of Basketball Players way before they hit double figures in age. Not a good start.
Then we see him take what he refers to as “his shot” calling it a “step over the line free throw.” He makes it, stepping forward to generate power rather than jumping up or just using a push from bent knees. The shape of his arm indicates okay form. We should give him points for the fact he’s wearing a suit and tie, with jacket on.
He then declares that he got an H on Clyde Drexler during their game of Horse. An impressive feat, the detail of which is not seen on the video.
We then see Jonah Hill hit a jumper from the wing, he seems to start inside the 3 point line, has a big slingshot in his form, but it does connect nicely. You can hear one of the guys declaring “you’ve got a hoop in your backyard don’t you” – Jonah seems to have a very, shoot about in my backyard game.
The final clip of Hill with a ball is questionable at best. He is seen lining up a javelin throw type shot from behind Dr J. Probably around NBA 3 point line distance. You see him make the throw and then it cuts away to a ball going through the hoop. A classic film technique used in bad basketball scenes. This indicates that Jonah Hill was unable to make this shot, probably despite multiple attempts.
For me the evidence in this video is clear. Jonah Hill can’t hoop.
Jonah Hill in the 2023 movie “You People”
- Does it show Jonah Hill is good at Basketball?
The first thing we should point out about this scene is that it is supposed to show two things. That the character isn’t supposed to be good at Basketball and that he is lucky/just good enough to pull it off.
To that end it suits Jonah Hill’s basketball ability almost perfectly.
The first on-court action he has, he dribbles into a defender (who might even be a teammate?) and falls down, losing the ball.
He then hits a hard pick and comes up holding his shoulder. Now Hill is about 5ft5 and of a “fluffy” build, so not your typical basketball player body wise. You can imagine that even off camera him running into a pick would cause him to wince.
For his character at least things start to change here. He gets his feet moving, spins through a gap, receives a pass and gets away in transition. Pulling up to float a lay up in. The director chooses to use one of the most egregious cut-aways I have ever seen here, split screening it and everything. No way Hill made that shot in real life. During his dribble down the court it looked like he was about to lose control any moment. Score 1 for his character, score nil for Hill as a Baller.
Finally we see him get a strip on defense, go the other way, pull up, fake his man past him, wave him goodbye, “drain the jumper” (yes another cut away), turn away as the ball goes through the net behind him.
By the end of the scene it’s clear that Hill’s character has won people over. Hill himself, has proved to me yet again that Basketball isn’t his thing.
Summary of Jonah Hill as Basketball Player
In no way are we being mean here. The question was asked, is Jonah Hill good at Basketball? We did our research and the evidence all indicates that… no. Jonah Hill is definitely not good at basketball. But he’s a quality actor, constantly has me in stitches and seems to ABSOLUTELY love the game. So if he ever wants to come and get a run in with us, he’s more than welcome. You do you Jonah.
What celebrities are good at basketball?
Adam Sandler is known for his comedy movies, but many in the basketball world have heard of his legendary pick-up basketball skills. Sandler has a lifelong passion for basketball, and one of his recent films Hustle is centered around basketball. Sandler’s skills are pretty serious – he has received praise from Shaquille O’Neal for his play, specifically his court vision. Sandler has often been associated with the “dad” look, but do not underestimate his prowess on the hardwood!
The rapper 2 Chainz has an expansive discography as well as his own TV show Most Expensiveist, but before he went by his rap moniker, 2 Chainz, real name Tauheed Epps, was a basketball player. He received a scholarship to play at Alabama State University in 1995, and played for 2 seasons. While his career averages were nothing to write home about, playing Division I basketball is no easy feat! While 2 Chainz has found more success in the world of music, it is interesting to see that his skills translated beyond the studio and onto the court.
Other celebrities with basketball skill include rapper J Cole, rapper Nelly, rapper The Game, comedian and actor Kevin Hart, singer Brian McKnight, among others. These individuals have had a bit of high school and college basketball experience, and some even have pro/semi-pro basketball experience!
What is the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game?
The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is an exhibition game that occurs on the first day (Friday) of the NBA All-Star Weekend. Every year since the event was introduced in 2005, a group of former NBA legends, WNBA players, and a mix of other celebrities (actors, comedians, musicians, and professional athletes from other sports) take part in an exhibition game. The games are not extremely competitive and have a higher degree of entertainment than strong basketball play, but it is a nice showcase for certain celebrities who have played basketball at some point in their lives.
The rules for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game are similar to standard NBA regulations, with a few changes. There is a 4-point line that is set one yard behind the 3-point line, only 1 timeout per half, and the quarters are 10 minutes long instead of 12. Fans can vote for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game MVP award. The 2023 MVP was DK Metcalf, who is a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Seattle Seahawks.
What are some well-known basketball movies?
Coach Carter is a 2005 film based on a true story about a high school basketball coach. Starring legendary actor Samuel L. Jackson as the titular character, Coach Carter explores the story of a high school coach who places strict academic expectations on his basketball team, and the journey of the team as they try to balance their success as a basketball team with the academic requirements imposed on them by their coach.
White Men Can’t Jump is a 1992 film starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as two “streetball hustlers” playing unsuspecting opponents (due to them underestimating Harrelson’s character since he is white) and winning money to try and achieve their respective dreams.
He Got Game is a basketball movie directed by legendary director and New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee that was released in 1998. The movie starred legendary actor Denzel Washington, who plays the imprisoned father of the nation’s top prospect, played by none other than NBA star Ray Allen.
Hustle is a 2022 film starring Adam Sandler and NBA player Juancho Hernangómez that is a great insight into the scouting world of the NBA. Sandler is an international scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, who becomes highly interested in Hernangómez after watching him play in Spain. The movie covers the journey of Sandler and Hernangómez trying to make it to the NBA Draft and get a spot in the league. The film also stars Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards as a rival of Hernangómez’s character.
The Space Jam franchise is an honorary mention for a legendary basketball movie, despite being an animated cartoon movie set in the Looney Tunes Universe. Starring none other than Michael Jordan, the Bulls superstar is recruited by the Looney Tunes to help them in their high-stakes against the Monstars, who have stolen basketball powers from NBA stars Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and Shawn Bradley. The 1996 film starred Jordan alongside actors Bill Murray, and Wayne Knight. A sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy was released in 2021, this time with LeBron James taking the place of Michael Jordan.
The lines between Hollywood and the sports world have blurred over the years, with the ever-increasing popularity of NBA players around the world has seen them brush shoulders with Hollywood royalty more often than ever. However, Hollywood has also historically been interested in basketball, with a number of basketball movies but moreso actors and musicians who have a great interest in the game of basketball. Seeing the crossover between the entertainment world and the sports world is, well, quite entertaining for just about everyone involved.