Washington a team player

Joins Weinstein Co.'s sports drama

Isaiah Washington has booked his first major feature film role since exiting from ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" in June.

Washington will star opposite Forest Whitaker in "Patriots," the Weinstein Co.'s sports drama being directed by Tim Story.

Also joining the cast are Taraji P. Henson, Robbie Jones, Jackie Long, Eric Hill, Bow Wow, Lil' Wayne, Irma Hall, Jared Einsohn, J.B. Smoove and Chyna McClain.

"Patriots," based on a true story, is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Al Collins, a high school basketball coach in Marrero, La., assembled a team of players who previously attended five different schools and led them on the path to the state championships.

Washington will play an assistant coach at John Ehret High who helps lead the squad.

Robert Eisele ("The Great Debaters") and Greg Allen Howard ("Remember the Titans") wrote the script. Raymond Brothers and Scott Glassgold of IAM Entertainment and Stephanie Allain and Michael Beugg are producing.

Shooting begins this week in New Orleans.

Washington's contract with ABC for "Grey's" was not renewed after he became involved in a backstage controversy involving a homophobic slur. He quickly moved to a prominent guest-starring arc on NBC's "Bionic Woman."

Washington is repped by Fortitude and Management 360.