Bo Cruz: Is He A Real NBA Player?

Bo Cruz: Is He A Real NBA Player?

Written by Ramsay, In Celeb, Published On
June 29, 2023

Many have questioned whether or not the international basketball prospect Bo Cruz depicted in the film Hustle is based on a real person. Adam Sandler plays Philadelphia 76ers scout Stanley Sugerman in the 2022 Netflix original film. Stanley’s plot centers solely on the discovery of Bo Cruz and the arduous road of trying to get him drafted by an NBA team, whereas Adam Sandler’s performance as Hustle’s main character was a major draw for audiences. Is Bo Cruz, however, a fake?


The cast of Hustle helps to dissolve the distinction between fact and fiction, despite the film’s lack of real-life inspiration. A number of NBA luminaries, including Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki, Trae Young, and Luka Doni, portray themselves in Hustle, while others, including Anthony Edwards and Kenny Smith, play unique characters created for the film.

Talented foreign prospect Bo Cruz is not an NBA player. However, Juancho Hernangómez, a real-life professional, plays Bo Cruz in Hustle. The role makes Juancho a much greater part of the NBA world, and the fact that it is his first acting job may surprise some viewers.

An Explanation of Juancho Hernangomez’s Professional and NBA Career

Bo Cruz

Juancho Hernangómez, born in Spain in 1995, signed a deal with CB Estudiantes in 2012 at the age of 17. Juancho Hernangomez, aka Bo Cruz, was previously a member of the Spanish national basketball team. He was a member of the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship bronze medal squad and the 2014 and 2015 European Under-20 Championship silver medal teams. Hernangomez was named the ACB’s Best Young Player at the conclusion of the 2016 basketball season.

This motivated him to enter the 2016 NBA Draft. The Denver Nuggets selected Juancho Hernangomez, a hustler who excelled in the 2016 NBA Draft, 15th overall. Over the course of three and a half years, he played in 191 games for the squad and made 37 starts, making him an invaluable contributor. Hernangomez was moved from the Nuggets and played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz, all for shorter amounts of time. As a member of the 2022 Spanish national basketball team, Hernangomez signed with the Toronto Raptors that summer.

There are a ton of NBA stars in Hustle

Many NBA players make appearances in Adam Sandler’s Hustle since the story is inspired by the real-life struggles of NBA scouts and prospects. Some of the ballplayers really play themselves, while others play pivotal supporting or even lead roles. NBA player Anthony Edwards portrays the antagonist Kermit Wills in addition to Juancho Hernangomez. During his debut season in the NBA, Edwards was named to the league’s All-Rookie Debut Team. He is most remembered for his time spent with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Moritz Wagner, a German-born NBA player for the Orlando Magic, co-stars in Hustle as the wayward import player Haas.

Julius “Dr. J.” Irving, a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players in Sixers history, makes a brief appearance in the film.

Former NBA player Dr. J, now 63 years old, made a cameo appearance in a film that inspired the “Boa Challenge” after his retirement in 1987. The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, Dirk Nowitzki, makes an appearance in the made-for-TV movie Hustle. Stanley uses the European ball player as an opportunity to impress Bo. The presence of the actual NBA throughout the film adds a refreshing realism to the feel-good film, which is far from being easy on dopamine.

Family Pressured Juancho Hernangómez is into playing Bo Cruz in Hustle

Although Juancho Hernangomez did a fantastic job portraying NBA star Bo Cruz in the film Hustle, Cruz himself had never explored acting. At a press conference for the 2022 Toronto Raptors, Juancho Hernangómez, who plays Bo Cruz, said that he and his character have more in common than simply a love of basketball and a desire to make it to the NBA.

According to EuroHoops, Hernangomez’s family was instrumental in convincing him to play Bo Cruz in Hustle. A role in a film was the last thing on my mind. I never considered acting as a career. The pandemic has begun. When asked how and why he auditioned for Hustle, he answered, “I was at my brother’s place in Charlotte when he was still playing there, and we were so bored.” being sedentary at home.

Hernangómez elaborated on his sister’s role in making the video that got him the part of Bo Cruz in Adam Sandler’s film. I initially agreed to participate since my sister insisted we do the films as a family project. Why? I have no idea. In addition, I kept going until I was cast. The director, the acting coach, and Adam Sandler all interviewed me. They recognized talent, or whatever it was. We finally made the film two years later. And it’s only fitting that his real-life, also-professional-basketball-playing family is partly responsible, as NBA player Juancho Hernangómez convincingly brought fictional NBA player Bo Cruz to life in Adam Sandler and Netflix’s breakout hit Hustle.

Related articles
Join the discussion!