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At the Core of King James

Shooting Stars movie plants foundation of basketball great

By Eva D. Coleman
Lifestyle & Culture Editor

Shooting Stars is a traditional tale of youth basketball players who form the nucleus of the man who becomes king, LeBron James.

Four friends, LeBron (Marquis “Mookie” Cook), Willie McGee (Avery S. Wills,

Jr.), Sian Cotton (Khalil Everage) and Lil Dru (Caleb McLaughlin), find themselves shouldering a community with their playing skills which they’ve cultivated since playing with each other as pre-teens. While they each have their unique talents, they are formidable together.

The strength of their force is tested when it’s time for high school level play, with team placements that would definitively break their stride.


The film hints at other breakdowns as well, including the father/son relationship. Coach Dru Joyce (Wood Harris), Lil Dru’s father who brought them together early on and quickly recognized their potential, is a source of contention as he makes decisions that undercuts his son’s desires and dotes on LeBron.  

Lil Dru, the odd man out, becomes the odd man “in” as he comes up with a plan to keep The Fab Four together; enrollment at a Catholic school and playing for a new coach ((Dermot Mulroney) whose loyalty lies in returning to coach at the college level. Although Lil Dru is the smallest of the friends, his heart and leadership are enormous assets to their unit.

Romeo Travis (Sterling “Scoot” Henderson) joins the squad and they play to win, well… most of the time.

As James’ star rises, jealousy does rear its ugly head, however the friends find a way to tame it and celebrate each other’s success.

The scenes that detail how James met his wife, Savanna (Katlyn Nichol), and their courtship afterwards are sweet and typical teenage love…boy messes up, boy gets girl.


A variety of family dynamics make up each of the boys’ being. The common thread is the desire for successful outcomes.

Shooting Stars is a classic coming-of-age film. The soundtrack will have you singing along to 90s hip-hop tunes reminiscent of the time period. Based on the book by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger, and the recurring mantra of “It’s not how you start the game. It’s how you finish,” you’ll want to watch this one until the end. It includes details of where each of them land in their professional careers, and a loving photo capturing their existing friendship.

Shooting Stars is now streaming on Peacock.

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