This well-acted and consistently entertaining African-American love story covers a period in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1993. Spike Lee is producer of the drama written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. She demonstrates a knack for vividly conveying the complexities of familial and romantic relationships.

Monica and Quincy grow up sharing a passion for basketball in Baldwin Hills, an affluent black neighborhood. At 11, she shocks him with her skills in the game and they decide to date, sealing the decision with a ceremonial kiss.

During high school, Quincy (Omar Epps) is a star player who, like his father Zeke (Dennis Haysbert), seems destined for the NBA. Monica (Sanaa Lathan) is penalized on the court for being aggressive, and at home her mother (Alfre Woodard) has a hard time accepting her tomboy daughter.

In 1988, Quincy and Monica are both superb basketball players at USC. But trying to keep their romance going proves to be a difficult task. Quincy learns that his trusted father lied to him about an adulterous affair, and he sinks into a depression. When he turns to Monica for solace, she's more concerned with keeping her curfew and protecting her position on the starting lineup than anything else. With his life in turmoil, he decides to break up their romance, drop out of school, and turn pro.

In 1993, Monica is in Barcelona, Spain, playing professional basketball. But her dream seems rather empty without Quincy. Returning home she discovers that his career has been jeopardized by a leg injury, and he's about to be married. Ironically, it's her mother who admonishes Monica to follow her heart and to demonstrate the go-for-it style she did on the basketball court. Love and Basketball reveals just how important friendship is in the romantic relationship of these two gifted athletes. It is the force that keeps them bonded together despite many troubles and disappointments along the way.