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  • Aliena Abernathy

Love & Basketball: UPB Hosts Homecoming Movie Night

By: Aliena Abernathy

Feb. 23 marked the fifth day of UMSL’s homecoming celebrations and was celebrated with a showing of the 2000s classic, “Love & Basketball.” The event was hosted in collaboration with UMSL’s Associated Black Collegians and the University Program Board to make the event relevant to Black History Month alongside Homecoming celebrations. The event was hosted in the ED Collabitat where attendees were treated to free popcorn and snacks, commuter cash, and plenty of lemonade.

Credit: TritonConnect

“Love & Basketball” is a romance/sports film that follows Monica, played by Sanaa Lathan (“Alien vs. Predator”), and Quincy, played by Omar Epps (“House M.D.”), and their shared childhood experiences as next-door neighbors to their lives as college sweethearts to their professional sporting careers. Hence the title, their scrapes with a romantic relationship, their love for basketball and the drama that unfolds as their lifestyles collide are the central themes in the film.   

Credit: New Line Cinema

“It’s complicated, but it’s also how life happens. That’s what I like about it,” said Lauryn Sanders, the event coordinator with the University Program Board. 

The film has a lot of significance to UMSL as Sanders explains, “I think a lot of people will enjoy watching a movie that they probably may not have seen in a while […] It’s a romance, so it’s a good Valentine’s Day movie, it’s Black History Month and it’s a Black staple film, and for homecoming, it’s a movie about basketball and it is basketball season.” Sanders continued to explain that the film also touches on the college experience and college athletes, furthering its relevance to UMSL’s college community. 

The film played on Friday to an energetic audience who enjoyed its comedy,  complex romance and African American representation. 

“I liked it because it’s a 100 percent Black movie. It’s about Black people. The cast is all Black, the director is Black and it’s just a really good movie too,” said eventgoer James Makambi. 

Credit: New Line Cinema

“The basketball scenes felt real. Like in a lot of movies you can tell they fake it, but here you can tell they were actually playing,” said eventgoer Holo Gass. 

The movie night also had a part in supporting black business owners and UMSL Alumni. 

“We got the popcorn from Pop Pop Hurray!” Sanders said. Pop Pop Hurray! Gourmet Popcorn is a family business owned by UMSL Alumni Tony Davis, who graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. Provided were their movie theater butter flavor and cheese flavor. 

Credit: Courtesy of Pop Pop Hurray!

“Love & Basketball” Movie Night isn’t the only Black History Month-inspired event happening during Homecoming. The Triton’s Got Talent event on Feb. 26, which is co-hosted by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, is upcoming. Similarly, the Unity Homecoming Social on Feb. 28 invites students of color and allies to come together for a homecoming mixer with alumni speakers who will talk about their experiences at UMSL and give advice for life after graduating.  

“I think the biggest takeaway tonight is for people to just enjoy the movie as much as possible. I think it’s hard for college students to just sit down and watch a movie with everything going on so taking time out of your day to just experience a movie is something that people will really like about this,” Sanders said on the importance of having a movie night be a part of Homecoming. 

Homecoming Movie Night had around 50 attendees, some of whom sat and watched the film, while others stuck to the back to enjoy a more social atmosphere. Attendees flowed between the two areas at ease and took advantage of the free concessions while talking about the movie with their friends. Students enjoyed the event in the way that Sanders hoped, taking the dim lights and friendly ambiance to relax and enjoy a night of “Love & Basketball.” Hopefully the University Program Board will continue events like this in the future, showing films that both elevate the voices of students on campus, and give those students a place to enjoy a calm and quiet movie night. 


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