Posted June 23, 2022

8 times Temple is mentioned in Adam Sandler’s ‘Hustle’

Temple is referenced repeatedly in Hustle, a new classic about redemption and basketball in Philadelphia starring Adam Sandler. 

A graphic of Adam Sandler at the Bell Tower.
Photography By: 
Graphic courtesy of Will Careri
While no filming was done on campus, Hustle will still make Owls swell with pride.

Adam Sandler’s newest movie Hustle features Sandler as Stanley Sugerman, a scout for the 76ers and Temple University alumnus. Sugerman, in an effort to be promoted from his role as scout to assistant coach, searches the globe for the one recruit who will help him achieve this goal.

Temple works its way into the film through dialogue, set and wardrobe details, and a cameo of a certain basketball coach and former Sixer. To find out why Temple plays such a prominent role, we asked the writers directly.

Here, we’ve captured the eight times Temple was mentioned in the movie, now streaming on Netflix. 

Did you spot a mention we missed? Let us know.

1. “I remember when you were at Temple” (8:09)

 Character playing the 76ers head coach telling Sugarman, "I remember when you were at Temple."

Less than 10 minutes into Hustle, we learn a key piece of Sugerman’s backstory: He attended Temple University. During a conversation with the character playing the owner of the 76ers, the owner talks to Sugerman about how he never used to back down to anyone, and how he hopes he never does again. Yup, sounds just like a Temple Owl!

2. Aaron McKie cameo (14:22)

Temple basketball coach Aaron McKie speaking with another gentleman at a funeral.

Aaron McKie, SSW ’02, former basketball player for Temple (under the late Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney) and the Philadelphia 76ers and current Temple basketball head coach, makes an appearance early in the film. At a funeral, we see a number of famous basketball players and coaches, McKie being one of them.

3. Vintage Temple basketball jersey (18:31) 

Vintage Temple University basketball jersey with the number 22 on the back.

In the home of Sugerman, framed on his living room wall is his former Temple jersey. It’s presumed Sugerman went to Temple in the mid-late 80s, when Temple was a dominant force. Making the March Madness tournament numerous years in a row, including the Elite 8 in 1988, it makes sense that Sugerman looks back on his alma mater with such pride.

4. Johnson and Hardwick hoodie (33:41) 

Sugerman wearing a vintage maroon Johnson and Hardwick hoodie.

While spending time with the Spain National Basketball Team, Sugerman is seen wearing a hoodie repping Johnson and Hardwick Halls, two legendary Temple residence halls. 

5. Temple pennant (1:07:50)

Bo Cruz and Sugerman's daughter speaking, with an old-school Temple pennant in the background.

In the dining room of Sugerman’s house, an old-school Temple pennant can be seen hanging behind his daughter’s left shoulder.

6. “Was that when you played at Temple?” (1:09:24)

Sugerman and his wife smiling and sitting next to each other while being asked if they met while at Temple.

In a conversation between the Sugerman family and Bo Cruz, the prospect Sugerman is working to get in the NBA, Cruz learns about the time Stanley and his wife met. He asks if they met while they were at Temple, which they did. It’s also revealed during this scene that Stanley’s wife used to play basketball at Temple, too.

7. Sugerman’s daughter in a Temple T-shirt (1:44:07)

Sugerman's daughter texting her dad while at a bar, wearing a Temple University t-shirt.

In the last scene of Hustle, Sugerman’s daughter, who the viewer already knows is in film school, is watching the 76ers vs. Celtics basketball game at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar in South Philly. She’s seen wearing a Temple T-shirt, leaving the viewer to wonder whether she decided to follow her parents’ footsteps and attend Temple to major in film.

8. Aaron McKie credits cameo (1:49:03)

 Aaron McKie as himself.

Aaron McKie makes his second appearance in the credits of Hustle, where a clip of him plays while he wears a 76ers jersey. McKie played for the 76ers from 1997–2005, before taking on the role of assistant basketball coach at Temple under the legendary Fran Dunphy, and later taking on the role of head coach for Temple men’s basketball.

- Will Careri