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24+ Best Basketball Movies on Disney Plus (& Shows!)

Looking for a way to get your basketball fix from the comfort of your home? Well, look no further than Disney Plus!

I’ve put together the ultimate list of the best basketball movies on Disney Plus, plus a few fun shows.

So warm up those Netflix thumbs because these are some slam-dunk worthy picks that will be nothing but net!

NOTE: This post may contain spoilers to movie or show plots. These movies and shows are available to stream on Disney+ in the US as of publication time, unless otherwise noted. Availability can change at any time.

New basketball movies on Disney Plus in 2023

Here’s a quick list of basketball movies added to Disney+ this year:

  1. Air Bud (1997) – Added October 1, 2023
  2. Chang Can Dunk (2023) – Added March 10, 2023
  3. The Crossover (2023) – Added April 5, 2023

The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)

Director: Robert Stevenson
Starring: Fred MacMurray
Genre: Comedy
Best for: All basketball fans, Family movie night

The Absent-Minded Professor has been a classic Disney film since its debut in 1961.

Starring Fred MacMurray as the absent-minded professor, the film follows his hilarious journey of inventing a gravity-defying substance called flubber, which gets him into some sticky situations.

What sets this film apart is how it incorporates basketball into the storyline, showcasing some impressive, unconventional tricks with the basketball that still manage to leave us in awe.

Also available to stream is the 1997 remake starring Robin Williams and Marcia Gay Harden, Flubber.

Air Bud (1997)

Promotional poster for the Disney movie Air Bud featuring a golden retriever dog playing basketball.

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Starring: Air Buddy the Dog, Kevin Zegers
Genre: Family
Best for: Animal lovers, Kids

There’s something amazing, but also heartwarming, about watching a dog succeed on the court, which is why Air Bud remains one of the most iconic basketball movies on Disney Plus.

What makes this story so captivating is the unlikely pairing of a golden retriever and a young boy, who together become unstoppable forces on the court.

Air Bud is a story about determination, grit and the power of believing in oneself. Beyond the furry, four-legged star, it’s a tale that inspires audiences of all ages.

This is the movie that spawned several more Air Bud sports movies, as well as the Disney buddies movies!

Bad Boys (2014)

Director: Zak Levitt
Starring: Mark Aguirre, Rick Mahorn, Kid Rock, Dennis Rodman, Isiah Thomas
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Detroit Piston fans, Millennial and Gen Z basketball fans

ESPN Films brings us Bad Boys, a documentary about the Detroit Pistons during their rise to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Bad Boys includes appearances from a few team members from those years, such as Dennis Rodman, Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre, and Rick Mahorn.

Chang Can Dunk (2023)

Promotional poster for the Disney Plus basketball movie, Chang Can Dunk.
Photo courtesy of Disney+.

Director: Jingyi Shao
Starring: Bloom Li, Zoe Renee
Genre: Family
Best for: Band geeks, Basketball fans

Marching band student Chang (Bloom Li) makes a bet with the top basketball player at his school that he can dunk by the time their homecoming rolls around.

Will he pull off this seemingly impossible task and if so, at what cost?

The Crossover (2023)

Promotional poster for the Disney+ show, The Crossover.
Photo courtesy of Disney+.

Starring: Jalyn Hall, Amir O’Neill, Derek Luke, Sabrina Lavelle
Genre: Drama series
Best for: Families, Basketball fans

In The Crossover, Josh Bell recounts he and his brother Jordan’s teen years, a time when they were considered basketball hotshots.

At the same time, their father was adjusting to life as a retired professional basketball player. And their mom was finally getting a chance to pursue her dreams.

The Crossover is based on the eponymous novel by Kwame Alexander.

As of October 1, 2023, there’s no official word on whether there will be a season 2.

D. Wade: Life Unexpected (2020)

Director: Bob Metelus
Starring: Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Gabrielle Union
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Miami Heat fans

D. Wade: Life Unexpected is an unmissable ESPN Films 30 for 30 documentary about Dwayne Wade’s remarkable story from an underprivileged kid from the south side of Chicago to NBA champion.

The film looks at his journey and stories from those he worked with or confided in, such as his wife Gabrielle Union, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, his former coaches, and more.

Dickie V (2022)

Director: Nick Nanton
Starring: Dick Vitale, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Mike Tirico
Genre: Documentary
Best for: College basketball fans

Dick Vitale, commonly known as Dickie V, is one of the most recognizable voices in college basketball as a long-time broadcaster and commentator for ESPN.

This documentary examines his storied career and lasting impact on college basketball as he continues to battle cancer (lymphoma and melanoma).

It include rare footage and interviews with big basketball names like Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Mike Tirico, and more.

The Dominican Dream (2019)

Director: Jonathan Hock
Starring: Felipe López
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Millennial and Gen Z basketball fans

Felipe Lopez, one of the top high school recruits of 1994, is the focus of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary, The Dominican Dream.

Lopez moved to the US when he was 14 to play basketball and was quickly scouted, ultimately committing to St. John’s and going on to play in the NBA for 4 years.

Double Dribble (1946)

Director: Jack Hannah
Starring: Pinto Colvig
Genre: Animation
Best for: Kids, Old school Disney fans, Goofy fanatics

If you’re looking for a short and sweet basketball adventure, look no further than the classic Goofy short film, Double Dribble!

This short film follows our beloved Disney friend, Goofy, as he struggles to learn the rules of basketball, making silly mistakes and laughing along the way.

Double Teamed (2002)

Director: Duwayne Dunham
Starring: Annie McElwain, Poppi Monroe
Genre: Family
Best for: WNBA fans, Disney Channel Original movie fanatics

Double Teamed is an inspiring and entertaining story based on the story of real-life twins Heather and Heidi Burge, who made their dream of becoming professional basketball players come true.

Full-Court Miracle (2003)

Director: Stuart Gillard
Starring: Richard T. Jones, Alex D. Linz
Genre: Family
Best for: Sporty kids, Disney Channel Original movie fanatics

Full-Court Miracle, a Disney Channel Original Movie now on Disney+, takes on the real-life story of Lamont Carr.

Carr was a star college basketball player who becomes injured, ending his prospective career in the NBA. However, he soon finds purpose as a basketball coach for a ragtag team at a Hebrew school

Through Carr’s hard work and determination, can he bring the team together and make them champions?

Glory Road (2006)

Director: James Gartner
Starring: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Jon Voight
Genre: Drama
Best for: College basketball fans

Based on a true story, Glory Road follows the story of Don Haskins, a new basketball coach at Texas Western College in 1966.

Haskins assembles a new team of players, regardless of race, which was unheard of at the time, so that the Texas Western Miners can become a winning team.

Through exhilarating highs and soul-crushing lows, Haskins’ team navigates race relations in pursuit of a championship title.

This uplifting story of dedication and determination is simply unforgettable and should be on everyone’s Disney+ bucket list.

Guru of Go (2010)

Director: Bill Couturié
Starring: Paul Westhead, Bo Kimble
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Lakers fans, College basketball fans

ESPN Films 30 for 30 series brings us another excellent documentary, Guru of Go, which centers around Paul Westhead.

Westhead was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers when they won the championship in 1980, but was pushed out not long after due to losing seasons.

He then goes on to coach for a small college, Loyola Marymount, where he pioneers a new offensive system.

I Hate Christian Laettner (2015)

Director: Rory Karpf
Starring: Christian Laettner, Mike Krzyzewski, Rob Lowe, Dick Vitale
Genre: Documentary
Best for: College basketball fans, Duke fans

This documentary makes Duke’s star basketball player from the 90’s, Christian Laettner, an infamous figure and examines why he became one of the most hated players, despite his successes on the court.

Jordan Rides the Bus (2010)

Director: Ron Shelton
Starring: Michael Jordan, Terry Francona, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Millennial basketball fans

In this 30For30 ESPN documentary, we follow the story of when Michael Jordan walked away from his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls in 1993.

Like Mike (2002)

Director: David Nelson
Starring: Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Crispin Glover, Eugene Levy, Jessie Plemons, Brenda Song
Genre: Family
Best for: Sporty kids, Millennial basketball fans

Calvin Cambridge (Lil Bow Wow) is a young orphan who dreams of becoming a basketball star in the 2002 family film, Like Mike.

After finding a magical pair of sneakers that belonged to Michael Jordan himself, Calvin’s dreams come true after he is signed to a contract with a local team after displaying impressive skills in a half-time contest.

NOTE: This film is not currently on Disney+, but has been in the past. Last checked October 10, 2023.

Like Mike 2 (2006)

Director: David Nelson
Starring: Jascha Washington, Kel Mitchell
Genre: Family
Best for: Sporty kids, Millennial basketball fans

Get ready for Like Mike 2, the sequel that’s all about Jerome Jenkins, Jr.

This time around, the sneakers that grant basketball skills end up in the hands (well, technically, on the feet) of Jerome, a teenager with big dreams of playing streetball (aka street basketball).

With the help of his best friend, Jerome takes to the courts and dazzles audiences with his newfound abilities. But as he rises to fame, he must also learn to stay true to himself and his roots.

Will he become a superstar, or will he let the pressure get to him? Watch Like Mike 2 to find out!

Liv and Maddie (2013-16)

Starring: Dove Cameron, Joey Bragg, Benjamin King, Kali Rocha, Tenzig Norgay Trainor
Genre: Comedy series
Best for: Disney Channel fans, Dove Cameron fans

This basketball-centric show follows identical twins, Liv and Maddie, both played by Dove Cameron.

Liv is an actress who moves home after 4 years when the show starred in has ended. Maddie is a star athlete on the local school’s basketball team.

The twins are very much un-twin-like, leading to some comedic situations.

This cute Disney Channel series ran for 4 seasons and ended in 2016.

The Luck of the Irish (2001)

Director: Paul Hoen
Starring: Ryan Merriman, Alexis Lopez
Genre: Comedy
Best for: Disney Channel Original Movie fanatics, Millennial and Gen Z basketball fans

The Luck of the Irish follows Kyle, a teen basketball player who suddenly finds out he is a leprechaun after his streak of luck and athleticism runs out when his lucky coin is stolen.

Follow him as he learns about his family’s mysterious past and searches for his coin – which turns out to be crucial for their survival amidst humans.

Phi Slama Jama (2016)

Director: Chip Rives
Starring: Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Benny Anders
Genre: Documentary
Best for: College basketball fans

This ESPN Films documentary transports viewers to Houston in the early 1980s, when the Houston Cougars were dominating college courts.

The film follows their remarkable journey as they battle their way to 3 appearances in the NCAA Final Four in a row, as well as the “fraternity” of players.

Appearances include former teammates Benny Anders, Clyde Drexler, and Hakeem Olajuwon, among others.

The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story (2016)

Director: Nelson George
Starring: Cassandra Freeman, Daniel Bellomy, Pauletta Washington
Genre: Drama
Best for: NBA fans

Kevin Durant is one of the most well-known and talented players in basketball. But his success would not be possible without his mother’s incredible support.

Wanda Durant was a single mothers who raised three kids. Despite her own challenges, she remained steadfast in her mission to make sure Kevin achieved greatness.

This made-for-tv movie is a heartwarming peek into a real-life story that we don’t hear about often: the people behind the big names.

Rise (2022)

Promotional poster for the Disney Plus basketball movie, Rise.
Photo courtesy of Disney+.

Director: Akin Omotoso
Starring: Ral Ugada, Uche Agada, Jaden Osimuwa
Genre: Drama
Best for: pretty much any basketball fan!

Rise tells the story of three Nigerian-Greek brothers, Giannis, Thanasis, and Kostas Antetokounmpo, and their journey to fame as NBA basketball players.

The movie follows the trio as they work to achieve their dreams against long odds and daunting obstacles, including poverty.

Survive and Advance (2013)

Director: Jonathan Hock
Starring: Thurl Bailey, Ralph Sampson, Jim Valvano, Dick Vitale
Genre: Documentary
Best for: College basketball fans

In this documentary, we follow the story of the 1983 North Carolina State University Wolfpack men’s basketball team and their coach, Jim Valvano.

This underdog team advanced to the NCAA finals and won, despite playing against teams like the Houston Cougars (of Phi Slama Jama fame).

There’s No Place Like Home (2012)

Director: Maura Mandt, Josh Swade
Starring: Josh Swade, Jay Bilas, Larry Brown, Seth Davis
Genre: Documentary
Best for: ALL basketball fans

Josh Swade is an average college basketball fan, particularly for the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

After all, James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, coached there for 40 years!

This documentary follows the story of when Swade found out a document with Naismith’s original rules of basketball written on it was up for auction and convinced someone to buy and donate it so that all fans could see it.

This Magic Moment (2016)

Director: Gentry Kirby, Erin Leyden
Starring: Penny Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal
Genre: Documentary
Best for: Orlando Magic fans

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary This Magic Moment tells the rags-to-riches story of the Orlando Magic’s thrilling and historic run to the 1995 NBA Finals.

Featuring interviews from Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, and other members of that unforgettable team, fans get an up-close look at how a ragtag bunch of incredible talents turned into an iconic powerhouse.

The Park Pixie’s top picks

The list of basketball movies and shows on Disney+ isn’t super duper long, so it might be easier to find something to watch.

But if you’re looking for an even shorter list, here are my top 3 picks:

  1. Best documentary: Jordan Rides the Bus (2010)
  2. Best Disney+ original: Chang Can Dunk (2023)
  3. Top family movie night pick: Air Bud (1997)

What are your favorite basketball movies on Disney Plus?

From classic favorites such as Like Mike to more recent films like Chang Can Dunk, there’s a basketball movie or show on Disney Plus for every fan to enjoy.

But now it’s time to hear from you! What are your favorite basketball movies on Disney Plus? What movies or shows should they add? Let me know in the comments below.

Next up, check out these posts:

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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This post was originally published March 26, 2023. It was last updated October 1, 2023.

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