Shoot to Score: These 5 Basketball Romances Are A Slam Dunk

Shoot to Score: These 5 Basketball Romances Are A Slam Dunk

By Jennifer Wattley

I love sports romances, whether in books or on screen. There’s really no rhyme or reason why I’m so captivated by them, but as luck would have it, put a hero or heroine in a story where one or both of them is a sports star, and I’m totally in.

There’s a smorgasbord of choices when it comes to football romances, but I rarely see basketball romances highlighted or talked about as readily.

So, with the Final Four rapidly approaching, I thought I’d share my favorite basketball romances with you and the reasons they need to go to the top of your TBR/watch list.

  1. Just Wright starring Queen Latifah and Common

If you’re unfamiliar with this amazing film, get with it. This film contains one of my favorite tropes: forced proximity. Leslie Wright (Latifah) is a physical therapist who comes to the aid of injured NBA superstar Scott McKnight (Common). It’s so wonderfully trope-y and heartfelt. I love just about everything Queen Latifah has ever done, but this is totally one of my favorite roles. I love that she’s a powerful, vulnerable, and takes risks. And we get to see Common shirtless so it’s all around a win-win.

  1. Play For Your Love by Ashley Nicole

I love anything that involves a sports journalist and an athlete. Does it cross a line of professionalism? Sometimes, but Nicole does a really fantastic job developing the relationship between the heroine, journalist Aria Smith, and the hero, basketball star Tory Barker. Aria’s reticent to take their relationship to the next level, while Tory is positive she’s the woman he wants to be with. There’s something so incredibly wonderful about their dynamic that I had to devour this entire book in one sitting.

  1. Love & Basketball starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps

Childhood friends-to-lovers? Yes please! I know I said it about Just Wright, but honestly if you haven’t seen this film from the early 2000s, you’re in for a total treat. Nothing about the romance between Monica (Lathan) and Quincy (Epps) is easy. They both have the dream of playing for the NBA, but it comes at the cost of their relationship. Hey, all’s fair in love and basketball.

  1. Take A Knee by Xyla Turner

This sexy contemporary romance revolves around a woman’s semi-pro basketball coach, Zora, and Harvey, owner of a semi-pro basketball team.  Zora and Harvey butt heads constantly over Zora’s desire and need to take a knee before games. Harvey doesn’t understand it, but he’s unwilling to let this one woman—the one—go. It’s a sexy story that mixes politics and sports.

  1. Slamdunked by Love by Jamie Wesley

Caitlin Monroe had a plan—take down her famous NBA coach father, who ditched she and her mother, and finally get some closure in her life. Brady Hudson, NBA star and member of Cailtin’s father’s team, throws a major wrench in her best-laid plans. This story is so dream. It involves fake dating!! My all time favorite trope of ever. Brady rescues Caitlin from the side of the road after her car breaks down (swoon!) and while he doesn’t know it, plays right into Caitlin’s plans. Except, when she gets to know him, things really change. I can’t stress enough how much you need to pick up this book. It’s wonderful!

Do you have a favorite basketball romance?

About the Author

Jen knows more musical theatre trivia than anyone has the right to, thinks fake dating is the best trope, and is a Thai food aficionado.

Find her here: