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Paramount wants Samuel L. Jackson to join the “Coach Carter” team.

Studio is in negotiations with the thesp to topline the basketball biopic, set up with Tollin/Robbins and MTV Films producing and Thomas Carter (“Save the Last Dance”) directing.

Par launched the project last year when it acquired film rights to the life story of Ken Carter, the controversial boys’ basketball coach at Richmond High School in Northern California.

The coach became nationally known in 1999 after benching the entire undefeated team in midseason for poor academic performance. He forfeited two games and barred players from the gym in what was dubbed “the great lockout,” eventually leading to an increased focus on academics at what had been a violence-plagued campus.

Jackson, repped by ICM, is toplining “S.W.A.T.” and will next appear in Miramax’s “Kill Bill.” He’s also reprising his Mace Windu role in “Star Wars: Episode III.”

The “Coach Carter” title is tentative with the project also known as “Back in the Day.” Its original title was “Old School: The Ken Carter Story,” but that was scrubbed after DreamWorks released college comedy “Old School.”

Tollin/Robbins has an extensive background in sports pics, having produced “Varsity Blues,” “Summer Catch,” “Hardball,” “Ready to Rumble” and Sony/Revolution’s upcoming “Radio,” along with HBO series “Arli$$.” Its development slate includes Fox’s “Fever Pitch,” a romantic comedy centered on baseball’s Boston Red Sox.