Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 4:22 pm  |  28 responses

Lenny Cooke Documentary Official Trailer (VIDEO)

The story of one of the most hyped basketball players of all time.

In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the most hyped high school basketball player in the country, ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. In an era when high school stars were forgoing college hoops in favor of the potential multi-million dollar contracts promised in the NBA, Lenny was supposed to be the next superstar. He had the world at his fingertips. But over a decade later, while his peers are taking home MVP awards and Championship trophies, Lenny has never played a minute in the NBA. What went wrong?

Lenny Cooke will be playing at the Tribeca Film Festival this week in New York City.

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  • spit hot fiyah

    DFRANCE! i demand a 10 page article from u about this dude

  • http://www.seanhowell.ca/ Sean

    c’est la vie.

  • LP

    i gotta watch this……..i thought he was ok tho….me and my homeboi always joke about all the washed “straight-to-the-league” former high school stars….Ndu Ebi is the one we get the most laughs out of….

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Was he really THAT good?

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Dude gained a lot of weight. I thought he was going to be special. It’s great that Joakim, Melo and Amar’e didn’t forget about him.

  • Lil_Stratboy


  • Cartel

    I bought son a drink the night he didn’t get drafted at a spot called Gaustavino’s in the city…My boy knew and introduced us. Cool dude and funny as hell. He dudn’t seem sad about not getting drafted because we thought he was gonna end up with a contract regardless…I’m shocked to see how things have played out…

  • bike

    Maybe if he could have gone to college for a year or two…maybe with the right college coach…maybe….

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    thats what im wondering too

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    real cool that they showin old friend some love

  • snasty10

    lol @ Ndu Ebi reference, I haven’t heard that name in a minute

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    super sad story, wasted talent

  • LakeShow

    Looks like a great documentary about the guy who should have, but wasn’t able to make it.

  • Cory

    I played during this time, he was ok, but he wasn’t better than Slim (DJ), and he damn sure wasn’t better than LeBron or Carmelo. He was just old and from NY. Lot of hype, no substance – of course. Crazy to see he blew up like that though!

  • Bruce Wayne

    Yeah he was at that point..He was ranked ahead of Carmelo and LeBron and a bunch of other guys in their age group..

  • Bruce Wayne

    He’s still playing overseas though

  • Brandan E

    back in ’99-’01 high school players was getting mad hype and people was thinkin how good they can be in the NBA. glad those days are kinda over.

  • Brandan E

    still cant forget why he challenged kobe to a 1 on 1 2 years in a row at he adidas abcd camp! and this is the young kobe at 20-21 years old!!! he woulda killed him!

  • Yknot

    Leon Smith is the name that gets me.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanDeahn RyanDeahn

    He didn’t make it because he had no discipline and let all that talent go to his head without really working on his game. Faded into New York City basketball folklore just like the Marbury brothers, Omar Cook, and countless others. Happy to see Lance Stephenson finally getting his act together though and becoming the player he was meant to be.

  • eyal

    another story about a talented poor boy that his ego challenged him to make it, he tried to get to the league when Lebron was in the summer league for Boston I think, but he came to the summer league without playing organized basketball that year, that’s why he was not in shape and became nothing. I saw him a little bit he was crazy talent.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Working on it! lol


    I knew Lenny personally… We played together with the Panthers my sophmore year in high school. Dude was good, but his attitude and ego were craaazy! He had to be the only 16 year old I’ve ever seen hanging out with DJ Clue after our games! Sad story, but def wish him the best. Guess this goes to show talent isnt anything without a work ethic and the right ppl around you

  • BballCity

    Ask any college coach at that time…people didn’t even know who Lebron was until he played Lenny at ABCD camp. They were all at the game to see Lenny- Lebron was put on the map because he played well against Lenny.

  • LP

    If the NBA had a rule to make players go to college for a year or two, maybe things like this won’t happen…..Well, guess that will never happen

  • azar

    so sad man…hate to see people fail

  • http://gdgt.com/profile/ayejay85/ Adam Reid

    LOL @ SLAM pretending they weren’t the ones hyping him up. Sad story, but the only reason I was familiar w/ Cooke was b/c I was a SLAM reader. I remember telling people “watch out for Lenny Cooke, he’s the truth” b/c SLAM told me he was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.fulton.10 Gregory Fulton

    Look. Talent can get you there. I know plenty of nba guys who got there on talent alone, even though they had bad work habits. They still made it even tho they were lazy. But this cat was beyond lazy.