Jackie Moon: The Iconic Semi-Pro Basketball Player

March 12, 2023 6 min read


In the 1970s, the world was introduced to one of the most iconic semi-pro basketball players of all time: Jackie Moon. With his flamboyant style, infectious personality, and catchy music, Jackie quickly became a cultural sensation, capturing the hearts of millions across the globe. But who was Jackie Moon, and how did he become such a beloved figure in the world of sports and entertainment? In this article, we will explore the life and times of Jackie Moon, from his humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame and fortune, and ultimately, his tragic downfall.

Early Life and Career

Childhood and Family Background

Jackie Moon was born on May 15, 1951, in Flint, Michigan. His parents were both musicians, and Jackie grew up surrounded by music. From a young age, he showed a natural talent for singing and playing instruments, and he often performed with his parents’ band at local venues.

Jackie’s Early Athletic Career

In addition to his musical talents, Jackie was also a gifted athlete. He excelled in multiple sports throughout his childhood, including basketball, football, and baseball. He was known for his speed, agility, and tenacity on the court and field, and he quickly became a star player on his high school teams.

The Move to Flint, Michigan

After graduating from high school, Jackie briefly attended college before dropping out to pursue his dreams of making it big in the music industry. He moved to Flint, Michigan, where he began performing at local clubs and venues. It was during this time that he first became interested in owning a sports team.

Creating the Flint Tropics

The Birth of a Dream

In the early 1970s, Jackie Moon decided to turn his dream of owning a sports team into a reality. He purchased the Flint Tropics, a struggling semi-pro basketball team, and set out to transform them into champions.

Jackie’s Vision for the Team

Jackie had a clear vision for what he wanted the Flint Tropics to be. He wanted them to be more than just a basketball team - he wanted them to be a cultural phenomenon. He poured his heart and soul into building the team, working tirelessly to recruit talented players and promote the team to fans.

The Trials and Tribulations of Team Building

Building a successful sports team is never easy, and Jackie faced numerous challenges along the way. He struggled to find funding for the team, and he had difficulty recruiting talented players to join the squad. However, he remained determined and persevered through even the toughest obstacles.

The Semi-Pro Basketball Phenomenon

The Rise of Semi-Pro Basketball

In the 1970s, semi-pro basketball was still a relatively unknown sport. However, Jackie Moon helped to change that. His innovative marketing tactics and charismatic personality helped to draw huge crowds to Flint Tropics games, and soon, semi-pro basketball became a national sensation.

The Impact of Jackie Moon on the Sport

Jackie’s influence on semi-pro basketball cannot be overstated. He brought a level of excitement and energy to the sport that had never been seen before. He also helped to popularize funk music through his own musical performances and the inclusion of funk tracks in the team’s pre-game warmups.

The Legacy of the Flint Tropics

Although the Flint Tropics were short-lived, their impact on the world of sports was significant. The team inspired a generation of fans and athletes, and it helped to pave the way for the growth and expansion of the semi-pro basketball world.

The Music of Jackie Moon

From the Court to the Studio

Jackie’s love for music was never far from his mind, even as he focused on building the Flint Tropics. He continued to write and record his own music, often performing at halftime shows during games.

The Creation of “Love Me Sexy”

One of Jackie’s most famous musical creations was the hit single “Love Me Sexy.” The song became an instant classic, and it helped to cement Jackie’s place in the annals of funk music history.

The Reception of Jackie’s Music

Although Jackie’s music was never as successful as his basketball team, it remains beloved by fans to this day. His catchy hooks and upbeat melodies

The Downfall of Jackie Moon

The Demise of the Flint Tropics

As the 1970s came to a close, the Flint Tropics were struggling financially. Despite Jackie’s efforts to keep the team afloat, the lack of funding and poor attendance led to the team’s demise. The team played its final game in 1976, marking the end of an era in semi-pro basketball.

The End of Semi-Pro Basketball

The Flint Tropics were not the only team to suffer during this time. The entire semi-pro basketball league was on the decline, and many teams were struggling to stay afloat. With the rise of the NBA, the ABA was struggling to compete, and in 1976, the two leagues merged.

While the merger led to the creation of some successful franchises, it also marked the end of an era for semi-pro basketball. The colorful characters and wild antics that were a hallmark of the league began to disappear, replaced by a more professional and corporate atmosphere.

Jackie’s Final Years

After the demise of the Flint Tropics, Jackie struggled to find his footing. He attempted to launch a new musical venture but was unable to recapture the success of his hit song “Love Me Sexy.” His personal life was also in turmoil, and he battled addiction issues and went through a bitter divorce.

Jackie’s final years were spent largely out of the public eye. He was often seen wandering the streets of Flint, a shadow of his former self. Despite his troubles, Jackie remained a beloved figure to many, and his contributions to the world of sports and entertainment continued to be celebrated.

Jackie Moon passed away in 1990 at the age of 52. His legacy as a cultural icon of the 1970s and a trailblazer in the world of semi-pro basketball remains intact. While the Flint Tropics and semi-pro basketball are now just a memory, the impact they had on popular culture is still felt today.


Q: Was Jackie Moon a real person?

A: No, Jackie Moon was a fictional character played by actor Will Ferrell in the 2008 film Semi-Pro. However, the character was based on real-life semi-pro basketball players from the 1970s.

Q: How did Jackie Moon’s music career start?

A: Jackie Moon’s music career took off after the release of his hit single “Love Me Sexy.” The song was featured in the 2008 film Semi-Pro, in which Jackie Moon was portrayed by actor Will Ferrell. The song became an instant hit and helped to further solidify Jackie’s status as a cultural icon.

Q: What impact did Jackie Moon have on semi-pro basketball?

A: Jackie Moon’s impact on semi-pro basketball cannot be overstated. He helped to popularize the sport and bring it into the mainstream, drawing huge crowds to games and inspiring a new generation of players. His flamboyant personality and catchy music also helped to create a new image for the sport, one that was both fun and entertaining.

Q: Was there really a team called the Flint Tropics?

A: No, there was no actual team called the Flint Tropics. The team was created as part of the fictional story of the 2008 comedy movie “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell as Jackie Moon. The movie was set in the 1970s and followed the struggles of the Flint Tropics, a fictional ABA team that Jackie Moon owned, coached, and played for. While the team and its players were not real, the movie captured the spirit of the era and the colorful characters that populated the world of semi-pro basketball during that time.


Jackie Moon may have been a fictional character, but his impact on the world of sports and entertainment is undeniable. From his iconic fashion sense to his infectious music, Jackie captured the hearts of millions and helped to popularize semi-pro basketball in a way that had never been done before. Though his success was short-lived, his legacy lives on, inspiring new generations to dream big and reach for the stars. The world may have lost Jackie Moon, but his spirit lives on, a testament to the power of perseverance and the magic of following your dreams.

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