Bo Cruz is portrayed by Juancho Hernangómez, a Spanish basketball player making his acting debut in “Hustle.” In 2016, Hernangómez was drafted to the Denver Nuggets as the 15th pick in the first round. He had an auspicious start with the Nuggets, scoring a season-high 27 points in a February 2017 game against the Golden State Warriors (via ESPN). Hernangómez would make his name known to Warriors fans again in 2018 when he blocked a crucial last-second layup to give the Nuggets a 100-98 win (via Bleacher Report).
Hernangómez made headlines in 2021 when the team he was playing for at the time, the Minnesota Timberwolves, barred him from playing for Spain in the delayed 2020 Olympics due to a back injury. the shoulder. Spanish Basketball Federation president Jorge Garbajosa took particular offense to the exclusion, throwing barbs at Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas (via Sports Illustrated).
Beyond the scoreboards and tabloids, “Hustle” marks Hernangómez’s first acting gig, where he will appear alongside Queen Latifah, Ben Foster and Robert Duvall, in addition to Sandler and his costars. The film is a departure for Hernangómez, who has embraced fame more quietly than, say, LeBron James or Blake Griffin. The only screen he has actually appeared on beyond basketball games is as an animated avatar in the “NBA 2k” video game series.
“I can’t say I’ll never make a movie because it’s not true,” Hernangómez told The New York Times. “But if it’s my only movie, I’m going to die so happy.”