The Last Shot
Freys Success in the Play
Frey manages to put into writing a true story in a hilarious manner. The writer puts together the clever mystery with the reality inside the tournament. She gives great insights concerning the game. The writer further highlights how basketball has influenced the media, betting game and pressures to excel in the college sports. This has been revealed through the actions of the characters in the play. The characters also cast a spotlight on the level of commercialization of the sports and corruption within the society. Frey reveals Corey, Russell, Tchaka and Stephen as talented players who had to overcome challenges in their lives to become the best in the game of basketball.
The characters display how role models have become untrustworthy as they realize that the most trusted people are the main partners in heinous acts in the society (Frey 23). For instance, the mistrust occurs when one of their most trusted people, the coach, becomes a traitor. The coach bribes a player to sign a contract with the team. Coaches cannot, therefore, be trusted as they are involved in corruption. The writer describes how the coaches had started to entice the players by the promise of exposing them through television and through the NBA (Frey 28). One coach is described as writing fawning letters to a recruit. It is disappointing to be discouraged by these fatherly figures who earn six-figure salaries and multi-million deals. Academic achievement has been emphasized, which puts stress on the players and increases blackmailing incidences among them. Coney Island education, for instance, is terrible since passing SAT tests is a dream yet to become a reality for many residents. The writer puts on the spot the menacing attitudes of most college recruiters. These recruiters desire to bribe the athletes through lies.
Frey uses the description of the background of Coney Island to highlight the theme of despondency and distress as portrayed in the lives of the young men. They believe in basketball as their only solution out of poverty. The other option is getting into drugs. Frey describes the island as the end of the line to imply that itis a subway terminus. In the passage where he describes the island, she states that the gang members mostly rain beer bottles (Frey 42, 216) The hoodlums are illustrated as careful of refraining from sabotaging the basketball courts as it is the only hope in the Island. Children go through inadequate schooling, crime, poverty and family disputes. The streets are dangerous as chances of getting shot are high. Dangerous drug dealers inhabit the Island. Therefore, it is a worse state to have a good life. Therefore, bravery and determination is the best practice in that region. The reputation is bad as all the natives in Coney are believed to be dangerous. However, this is opposed by the lifestyle of the characters and their families. They remain to be harmless and are not into of crime.
In the play, Russell is among the most talented senior players but Steve is the best player. Russell is as funny as Tchaka as he dips into odd social characters in various instances (Frey 180). It has been serious to the point that he wanted to commit suicide. He is also intelligent, thus, led by his work ethics. He is a bomb about to explode because of his outrageous moods and social misbehavior. All these characters try to improve their SATs results in order to get to college. Corey is intelligent, good in rapping, and fantastic in poetry and a natural player. However, he is hardly serious in anything. Steve has superior basketball skills, but he is yet to find his footing in college. Steve becomes the best character as he highlights the theme of competitiveness and struggle in the play. He is a young junior player who is striving to make a name for himself despite the various challenges along the way. In the end he becomes the best. He is inclined to do his very best and be outstanding so as to get out of second class citizenship (Frey 36). The other players together with Steve highlight the theme of excellence and struggle within the play. They are born in a slum, go to a nearby school and have a dream of making it in life through playing basketball. Unfortunately for them, the SAT test points are increased further watering down their dreams. Steve reveals his overcoming ability that could not be wholly displayed by his brothers.
The writer has highlighted all these with bouts of comic relief from time to time within the play (Frey 46). Frey fails not in presenting the intimate bind that the players, their families, the fans and the supportive coaches have. This gives the reader an emotional punch. He captures the psychological drama and the substantial beauty of the game. This brings joy among the fans and the players (Frey 128). Through the roles of the characters, the readers become connected with the characters as the viewer gets to understand their inner emotions, struggles and thoughts. The viewer is made to get concerned with the circumstance surrounding the life of the characters. The readers come to appreciate how easy their lives are as they do not undergo the struggles characters like that of Steve. Tchaka, Corey, and Russell go through a stressful process of recruitment to college, while Steve goes through trials and tribulations to make it to higher levels. Through the characters, the viewer can differentiate between right and wrong. Despite the age group of these characters, they manage to become the best players and get out of poverty. Through the characters in the play, this has further been emphasized.
Contribution of the Plays Soul in the Hole and He Got Game
The plays He Got Game and Soul in the Hole facilitate comprehension of the lifestyle of basketball players. Spike Lee brings back the pressures that basketball players have to undergo to make it in life. He explains that it is more of heartbreak than reality. The relationship between Jesus and his father, Jake, is strained as the father killed his wife and has been serving a prison sentence (Ebert, Roger 1). Such occurrences are a revelation of what transpires in the private lives of the players. They know no peace. Jesus is a national player and the state governor makes an offer, which is not too appealing for Jesus. Jake, therefore, has to be released early to sweet talk the son into signing the contract. The background is the same as Coney Island. There are many prospects for Jesus, despite his current status. These include recruitment offers and financial breakthroughs. These reveal much of the capitalism within basketball game. Sports and great business are compatible because basketball has been associated with wealth among the insiders. Fans take it as parts of sports activity while the rich and the famous take the game as a marketing tool for themselves. In the end, Jesus reconciles with his father and accepts the offer to lift himself out of poverty.
In the play Soul in the Hole the same theme is shared. The play presents a moving realistic perception of a basketball coach. The coach has realized the game that is played on to the young and talented players. His main agenda is to help them overcome the present challenges and make it in life (Foster, Lilibet 1). Ed Smith is a talented player who has been selected to play for a team, yet he is hardly literate and has a criminal record. The same theme of corruption is shared. The players are recruited early before they understand what the future has for them. Basketball becomes the solution out of poverty, but the stardom is for a short period.
Essence of Playing Basketball Is For Humanity
According to Feng, many of the American states love basketball with the soul intention being the main essence of humanity. Through Feng, the reader manages to understand the greatness in basketball and the price the players pay to be successful. Basketball is a way to greatness and a reality of a greener future for many of its players. Basketball is a sport that is laced with joy for the players and viewers alike since the society upholds it and values the game. To the players, it offers a solution to poverty and greatness. This has been depicted by the book The Last Shot. In the book, the players go through lots of challenges to become the best and get out of poverty. For instance, (Tim Harday in Feng, Ed1) to the viewers, it is a source of relaxation. Viewers go to the tournaments with the sole reason of fun. To the businessmen, it is a tool for marketing themselves and showing their financial prowess. In a majority of the NBA games, greater part of the wealth is seen in the stands since the game sets the objective of the same form of warfare that goes on in high finance. According to Feng, this is the sole reason why coaches can no longer be trusted with the players future. There is much circulation of money in terms of deals. There are a majority of the team sourcing out for young and talented players in college. However, the players ought to make the best out of their lives by excelling in academics, acquire the best colleges and maximize on the given offers.
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