Hoop Dreams


Hoop Dreams is a story about two young men who want to become basketball

players in the NBA. The author Ben Joravsky wrote the book. The idea for

the book came from the documentary movie, Hoop Dreams, which is a true story.

Arthur Agee and William Gates are the names of the two boys who were

followed from eighth grade to twelve grade to do the movie.

Arthur Agee was a 5'6 125 pound guard from the playgrounds of Chicago

when St Joseph recruiters saw him. Arthur was playing against guy's three

years older than he was and he was still the best in the neighborhood.

Arthur's parents Bo and Sheila Agee were very poor people who were on cocaine

and could not support their family. Big Earl, the guy who recruited Arthur

told his family that St. Joe's would be able to pay Arthur's tuition if he

played basketball for them. Arthur went to St. Joe's and met William Gates.

They had become friends in grade school but had never really done anything

together. Eventually William turned out to be the better player and all the

attention and money was focused on him. Therefore, Arthur was booted out of

St. Joe's in the middle of the school year. He was forced to enroll at

Marshall, the area public school. As a result, Arthur could see his dreams

of the NBA were slipping away. Along with that, he couldn't keep his grades

up enough to attend a Division I school. He and the Marshall Commandos ended

up going downstate Arthur's senior year. They finished third in the state

overall. Arthur ended up going to a junior college named Mineral Area in

Flat River Mississippi. After his two years in Mississippi, Arthur received

a scholarship to Arkansas State. He finished his degree in communications

and he graduated. Arthur never did reach his dream of going to the NBA, at

least yet. As you can see, it takes a lot for an inner city boy to try and

reach his dream, but most of the time it never happens.

William Gates was also 14 when he was recruited to go to St. Joseph. He

and Arthur both had to wake up around 5:30 every morning so they could get on

the subway to make it to school in time. It took William about two hours

everyday. William impressed the coaches and he was moved up to varsity when

he was a freshman. This disappointed Arthur because he wasn't used to seeing

people better than he was. After a while William began to start and all of

Arthur's scholarship was being used for William. William felt very bad about

this but he knew that he couldn't let this stop him if he was going to make

it in the pros. Eventually Arthur left the team and being one of the few

blacks in a Christian school made William feel even more out in space.

William kept improving and he was getting letters from major colleges all

over the country. However he wasn't able to get an SAT score of 18 so he

wasn't going to be eligible to play his freshman year. Additionally, he

ripped cartilage in his knee and some schools were wondering if he could ever

play again. This narrowed down Williams choices and he picked Marquette

University. He ended up graduating and he hired an agent and they tried to

get him into the NBA but they failed. William ended up marrying Catherine,

which he already had two kids with and they moved back to Chicago. In

conclusion, the dream was just as hard for William as it was for Arthur,

William just made a little closer.

Arthur and William still play pick-up games down at the playgrounds they

became great. It's hard to believe that William was once the better player.

They both said they still have the dream but they aren't going to chase it.

They will wait for the NBA to come calling for them. This story is a great

story for young kids who have the dream for becoming stars. It gives them

the reality of the dream. All in all, this book was one of the best I have

ever read.