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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
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