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Why Bo From Hustle Looks So Familiar

Adam Sandler and basketball players proved to be a winning, albeit tense, combination in the Safdie Brothers' "Uncut Gems," with Sandler and Kevin Garnett reliving a pivotal night in the Celtics' 2011-2012 season. "Uncut Gems" also marked a high point in Sandler's dramatic acting career, with the actor delivering a performance that rivaled his work in "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" and "Punch-Drunk Love."

With his upcoming film "Hustle," Sandler is no doubt hoping to strike gold with a second sports drama. He stars as Stanley Sugarman, a washed-up scout for the 76ers looking to find the NBA's next big star. The film boasts big basketball names in front of and behind the camera. LeBron James is co-producing alongside Sandler, and an impressive roster of NBA players can be seen in the trailer, including Anthony Edwards, Trae Young, Kyle Lowry, Seth Curry, and Boban Marjanović. 

Sugarman's work takes him all over the world, with pit stops in Nigeria, China, Greece, Germany, and finally Spain, where he spots a hotheaded diamond in the rough named Bo Cruz. Here's why Bo looks so familiar.

Juancho Hernangomez has played in the NBA since 2016

Bo Cruz is played by Juancho Hernangómez, a Spanish basketball player who's making his acting debut in "Hustle." In 2016, Hernangómez was drafted to the Denver Nuggets as the 15th selection 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 Warriors fans know his name once again in 2018 when he blocked a crucial last-second layup to hand the Nuggets a 100-98 victory (via Bleacher Report).

Hernangómez made headlines in 2021 when the team he was playing for at the time, the Minnesota Timberwolves, blocked him from playing for Spain in the delayed 2020 Olympics due to a shoulder injury. Spanish Basketball Federation president Jorge Garbajosa took particular offense at the exclusion, throwing barbs at the Timberwolves' then-president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas (via Sports Illustrated). 

Beyond the scoreboards and the tabloids, "Hustle" marks Hernangómez's first acting gig, where he'll appear alongside Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, and Robert Duvall, in addition to Sandler and his teammates. The film is a departure for Hernangómez, who has more quietly embraced celebrity than, say, LeBron James or Blake Griffin. The only screen he's really appeared on beyond basketball games is as an animated avatar in the "NBA 2k" video game series. 

"I cannot say I'm never going to do a movie because that's not true," Hernangómez told the New York Times. "But if this is my only movie, I'm going to die so happy."