Chris Webber didn’t need to do much studying to get his role down in Uncle Drew. The Preacher, whether a character in a movie or the real ones behind the pulpit at church, is something he’s very familiar with. The NBA great took his first acting role in Uncle Drew along with a bevy of former and current NBA and WNBA players, putting him in a comfortable, if maybe a bit unfamiliar, place.
The movie, which started as a Pepsi commercial, was another example of athletes getting into the entertainment world and finding success on the silver screen. But Webber said he had prepared for the role long before his NBA career ended. He took acting classes in anticipation of a future in the field post-retirement, and his character in Uncle Drew came from the many Sundays he spent in church pews hearing the Good Word.
Webber sat down with Uproxx to talk about the success of Uncle Drew, his experience getting into acting and the importance of the film’s exploration of the church and the street ball scene in New York. He also explained why college basketball’s talent drain has made broadcasting more difficult and how he stays connected to the game of basketball a decade after his NBA career ended.