Love and Basketball.
It is probably the most iconic black romantic film of all time in my opinion, beating out some hitters like Love Jones, The Wood, and even Brown Sugar, which sort of stole the exact theme from Love and Basketball, and leading actress, Sanaa Lathann. I’m not mad though because the movie was essentially an east coast version of Love and Basketball, which of course was set in Los Angeles, California.
Anyway, this was one of the earliest movies that I can remember watching and thinking “wow, this is what teenage love is like.” The most wonderful thing is how gracefully the movie has aged, especially with my generation, and that is an admirable achievement. It’s a really dope and original concept, intertwining basketball and love through four quarters (segments of the movie) and the two characters Monica and Quincy blossoming into love. It’s the quintessential complex and painful love story that one appreciates with age.
To find this location, I reached out to the movie director, Gina Prince-Bythewood who confirmed via message that the houses of Quincy and Monica were in View Park, CA, but she didn’t remember any street names or where exactly. View Park aka Black Beverly Hills is a predominantly black, affluent, neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles, CA. So, like a child I pulled out my google maps and giddily searched all over the map of View Park for a sign of the house. For context, I had already looked at the opening credits of the movie and saw that the house location was uphill on a windy road. But I realized that this road would lead to nowhere, so the next person that I reached out to was Glenndon Chatman, the actor that played Young Quincy.
He confirmed that although he didn’t know the address exactly, he knew how to get there, and that it was located on the street before Valley Ridge.
A couple of days later, I made it my personal mission to find this location. So with my gps set to: Valley Ridge St, View Park, CA, I drove down to View Park, CA for the first time ever.
And I was blown away.
Those houses had a level of unparalleled and unmatched beauty. The homes were majestically sitting, mansion after mansion, manor after manor, on hills with breathtaking 360 views of downtown LA, the mountains, and the Hollywood Sign. Even the air was different.
But what really stunned me was the number of black people that I saw there. Jogging around. Watering the Lawn. Kids playing basketball in the driveway. Was I in Wakanda? I honestly wasn’t sure. Still in a daze, I made a brief stop on the street Mt. Vernon, and found two elderly black women outside of a house chatting. I introduced myself, and told them what I was looking for. I showed them screenshots of that opening scene from Love & Basketball that I used to initially track myself here. Pearl (I don’t know her name but Pearl just feels right) stated that the only place in the neighborhood with windy roads like that would be on Kenway, which was ironically the next street over.
Hastily running back into my car, I drove west on Mt. Vernon and made a right onto Kenway Avenue. Driving slow, and still admiring the beauty that surrounded me, I came to a stop. There it was, looking exactly like it did 20 years ago on the screen of my Aunt Shirley’s living room television.
Quincy’s house. The basketball court. The court that hosted the most emotional basketball game ever occurred. Lebron’s 2016 finals had nothing on Quincy and Monica battling 1 on 1 for love.
I stopped and just admired the house for a while, then proceeded to take some snaps. I then went to the house next door for optical confirmation that it was Monica’s house, which it was.
The next week, I brought my fiancé to the house so she could see for herself, and we stirred up the courage to knock on the door to ask if we could take some pictures on the basketball court for Kulture Film Locations. To our pleasant surprise, the owner opened the door and was highly supportive of what we wanted to do. Hell, she even took some of the pictures and gave us a mini tour of the house.
We met her husband as well, and the couple just could not have been more gracious. With that said, understand that this is a private residence. So if you go visit, please respect boundaries and their property, and please, please do not trespass. The pictures that we captured, we took with the permission of the owners. Also, don’t forget to go to our Film Locations page for more dope locations and stories.
Location: 3962 Kenway Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90008