Sanaa Lathan said in an interview, “I was miserable. I can laugh about it now,” said Lathan. “I got the job and I think (director) Gina [Prince-Bythewood] finally got to the point where she had to hire somebody. It’s almost like she hired me because she couldn’t find somebody else. There wasn’t a lot of joy and there wasn’t a lot of trust in me. It was her baby and it was her first time directing. It was a big deal for her and nobody knows me then really. She gets to the point where she makes this decision with me, but I felt like the default.” She added, “I had to go through so much to get the part and in all the basketball scenes, [they] surrounded me with real ballplayers. There was a lot of crying behind the scenes for me.” Producers wanted a real basketball players to play the female lead. Sanaa said, “They were giving the basketball player acting coaches. They would always do a basketball audition for me, which was just the worst. Finally I demanded that if you want me to continue, you’ll have to get me a basketball coach. They gave me an assistant coach for the LA Sparks and she had me training five hours a day before I got the job.”
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