Will Smith is probably most well-known for his role in the 1990 television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In the show, Will plays basketball for his school Bel-Air Academy’s team. This left many people wondering if Will himself can play basketball.
Will can, in fact, play basketball. Although Will never played for his own high school’s team, he does leisurely play basketball and is an avid fan.
Continue reading to find out more about Will Smith’s history with basketball.
Famous Basketball Games
In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will’s character is the best player at Bel-Air academy. The show focuses on that as even in the theme song it says, “On the playground is where I spent most of my days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool and all shooting some b-ball outside of the school.” The title sequence also shows Will playing basketball in Philadelphia. The character is loosely based on Will, even sharing the same name, so the fact that the character plays basketball is not a coincidence.
His history with basketball continued as he played on the first ever episode of MTV’s Rock N’ Jock Basketball show. It was a 90s show where movie stars and rock stars played basketball and softball with athletes. The first episode also starred big names like Mark and Donnie Wahlberg (pictured below with Will) and Magic Johnson. Will Smith’s team lost the game, but he obviously enjoyed himself.
More recently in 2019, Will posted a video of him playing basketball on the set of Bad Boys for Life, the third movie in the Bad Boys series. In the video, he is playing one-on-one with one of the film’s extras. Will looks confident as he makes a layup, but when the film’s extra has the ball, he easily gets it past Will by bouncing the ball between Will’s legs and making a basket. Will takes the loss easily though as he jokes in the video’s caption: “These kids today don’t respect their elders!” At 50 years old, Will is still leisurely playing basketball.
Not only does Will play basketball himself, he is a big fan of the sport. He is such a big fan in fact, that in 2011, he bought part of a basketball team. Will invested in his hometown’s NBA basketball team, the Philadelphia 76ers. He is one of six owners of the team which some of the team member’s like Evan Turner were happy about. He tweeted, “I think it’s dope that the Fresh Prince is one of our new owners. Maybe Willow can perform at halftime.” Will bought a share in the team because the NBA franchise was struggling and he is known to support people and businesses from his hometown. He says about owning part of the team, “There is nothing, in all of entertainment, than to walk into the building when it’s announced that you’re a part owner of your hometown basketball team.” Will still goes back to Philadelphia to watch their games when they are winning.
Arguably, one of the most well-known basketball players is Michael Jordan who played for the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the NBA website even states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Will Smith is not only a fan of Michael Jordan, but they have become friends. Will told Jimmy Kimmel that they are friends and hang out. He says that Jordan is competitive about everything, even who can drink their water first. But Will admittedly likes being around people with a competitive attitude and says that’s how Jordan is a successful basketball player.
So, not only can Will play basketball himself, he is also a dedicated fan of the sport.