Peacock’s basketball film ‘Shooting Stars’ can be described as the “origin story” of LeBron James, one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The film explores a young LeBron’s relationship with his closest friends Little Dru, Willie McGee, Sain Cotton, and Romeo Travis, who are collectively known as the “Fab Five.” LeBron becomes a national sensation while attending St. Vincent, playing a vital role in the victories of his high school team game after game. Mookie Cook, one of the highly appreciated basketball prospects of the present day, plays LeBron in the film. Since the young player/actor resembles the latter well, the viewers must be wondering whether they are related. Well, let us share the answer!
Is Mookie Cook Related to LeBron James?
No, Mookie Cook is not related to LeBron James. Despite the resemblance they share, Mookie and LeBron aren’t connected in any way, which makes the similarities in their appearance strictly coincidental. Mookie, however, is a friend of LeBron’s son Bronny James, with whom he played basketball for the same summer basketball team in the eighth grade. During the same time, he did meet LeBron during certain games. “I’ve played with Bronny growing up seventh, eighth grade, so yeah, of course. I remember multiple times, he [LeBron] has been on the bench while we’re playing, mid-game, call me over, ‘Hey bro, hey, you should’ve did that. It’d read a little different. You should’ve did this,'” Mookie told PopCulture.
Mookie then met LeBron after the filming of the film, only for the latter to appreciate the young player-cum-actor. “After the film, we all shot it, I was at the McDonald’s All-American game and I seen him [LeBron] there. And then he was just like, ‘Man, I’m so happy for you, man. This is so great, great opportunity, man.’ I was like, ‘Nah, man, I appreciate you because at the end of the day, you and the director have the final say-so of who to pick. And man, you were down to pick me,’” Mookie added.
Since playing LeBron, Mookie is identified as the one who plays King James a lot. “Definitely a little bit of a different type of feel behind it. Little kids coming up like, ‘Oh, you’re the one playing LeBron!’ I’m so used to, ‘You’re Mookie Cook!’ because of basketball, not because of a movie,” he told The Athletic. Playing the renowned basketball icon wasn’t an easy task for the actor. “It definitely did take a little while to embody him. How straight up he runs, big posture with broad shoulders,” Mookie added about the preparations to play LeBron authentically.
Director Chris Robinson commended Mookie for playing LeBron convincingly by joining him in the same interview given to The Athletic. “I’d have to pull him aside and say, ‘You remember who you’re playing, right?’” he told the publication. “The thing about them is they are athletes. Scoot [who plays Romeo Travis] and Mookie really get it. So then, you hit that repetitive muscle, you do the facial expression, you do the gait, the walk. [Mookie] had to be reminded of it sometimes,” he added.
Although Mookie and LeBron aren’t related, it is safe to say that the former will appear in the minds of the latter’s fans whenever they think of a young King James after watching ‘Shooting Stars.’ The praise Mookie has been receiving for portraying a young LeBron is a testament to the same.