‘Hustle’ Acting Coach on Key to Working With NBA Stars and First-Time Actors

When filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar got called to the big leagues to

direct Adam Sandler in Netflix’s Hustle, he drafted a key teammate

from his last film to make the leap along with him.

Noëlle Gentile, a onetime public school theater teacher in Brooklyn and

upstate New York, spent months working with athletes-turned-actors Juancho

Hernangomez, Anthony Edwards, Kenny Smith, Boban Marjanovic and legend

Julius “Dr. J” Erving to prove their skills on and off the court. The film centers

Sandler as Stanley Sugarman, a down-on-his-luck basketball scout for the

Philadelphia 76ers. After discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky