Woody Harrelson really learned to dunk to win bet with Wesley Snipes on set of 'White Men Can't Jump'

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

While basketball hustlers Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) eventually team up for some schemery in Ron Shelton’s 1992 sports classic White Men Can’t Jump, that didn’t stop the competition between the actors playing those characters throughout the shoot.

“I remember having an actual contest with Wes where I was trying to dunk. We were betting and everything, and I was losing,” Harrelson told Yahoo Entertainment about shooting the film, which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year, during our recent Role Recall interview (watch clip above).

Snipes retired to his trailer, and it was then that a woman on the production crew introduced Harrelson to the concept of yoga stretching, a practice the actor, now 56, has since passionately embraced.

“I didn’t even know about stretching. But I started stretching, and the next thing you know I could dunk the ball,” he said. “This was on a 9-and-a-half-foot rim, by the way, I couldn’t do it on a 10-foot rim. But even on that, it was the peak, the absolute top of my abilities… I got to where I could stuff it.”

Then the real-life hustling commenced.

“[Wesley Snipes] came out of his trailer, and I pretended I couldn’t [dunk]. And then we upped the bet and upped bet, and then I slammed it. I’ll never forget the look on Wes’s face. That was a joyous moment.”

Watch our full Woody Harrelson Role Recall interview:

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