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In society today High School sports are a major business, especially High School Basketball. Major Corporations are making a large profit on high school athletes, selling shoes (Nike, Adidas, etc.), making films (He Got Game, Hoop Dreams, etc.), and books (Sole Influence By Dan Wetzel, Raw Recruits, etc.). High school basketball is such a large business everyone is trying to get their peaice of the pie. Who says there is anything wrong with brain-washing kids to believe that basketball is going to take care of them for the rest of their lives without any education past high school. These basketball prodigies s have everything they need in High School and Jr. High School, because of what they can do on a basketball court and not what kind of person or what kind of student they are. If one of these youth basketball stars suffers an injury that would no longer allow them to play basketball, they would be left in the cold with nothing but stories of what could have been if they had not gotten hurt.
In the two movies that I Reference in my paper are He Got Game , and Hoop Dreams , which are about the lives of high school basketball stars that are at the head of the class, when it comes to basketball. In the film He Got Game featuring Ray Allen and Denzel Washington, the high school basketball star Jesus Shuttleworth (Allen), who is the top ranked high school basketball player in the nation. Everyone around him wants to know if he s going to college or if he going to play professional basketball and skip college. Hoop Dreams focuses on two inner city youths from the Cabrini Green housing projects on Chicago s west side. Both of these young men are recruited to play at a highly acclaimed high for its academics and well-coached basketball as well. One of them stays to become a star player; the other one is forced out because of his economic situation and goes to play for a public school in his neighborhood. Both of these movies focus on players lives and how basketball effects their decision and their way of thinking. Basketball is their way of life and is all they know, along with the streets.
In the film, He Got Game , there are many twists to the story and it is just not about a story of a young man trying to pick a college to attend. Jesus (Allen) is faced with the reality that he has to make a decision, not based on the feelings in his heart, but what is best for everyone else around him. This is the most important decision in your life (1) (John Thompson basketball coach Georgetown university). In my opinion, this is the most important decision in his life or one of them because; he has to decide if he wants to further his education, or take the money and the fast life that professional sports has to offer. For an eighteen year old to have to make the decision to make money for something he loves, or to further his education, that is no contest in his mind. He figures he can make money now and go to school when his basketball career is over. This way of thinking might be wrong to you and me, but in that kids eyes that is the only thing he sees fit for him. That is a way of life, not just a sport.
In the film Jake (Washington), is faced with a decision of weather to stay in jail for the rest of his time, or get early parole if he can get his son to enroll in the Governors al-mater Big State. You do your part… you deliver your son, and Governor Cornell will do his part . (2) (Warden Marcel) They are not thinking about what is best for Jesus (Allen), but what is best for them and how they can make the most money. One of the biggest parts of the film is the business behind high school basketball and the top basketball players. Jesus is confronted with the option of going pro, but he is still unsure of what he wants to do. You’re black, I’m white, and this is green. When it comes to making business decisions, the only color that matters is green . (3) (Dom, sports Agent) The big business has taken over the small world of high school sports, either being the shoe company s, summertime traveling teams, and sports agents. In the NCAA, it is illegal for any college athlete or potential athlete to talk with a sports agent, receive gifts, etc. Since all of these things are illegal, these sorts of things should not happen. In the movie s as well as in real life, it happens everyday and there is no end in sight, unless the shoe company s and the agents go out of business, but in reality that is not going to happen. In my opinion it is a problem, but it helps the kids that can t afford shoes and other things like that, for those kids they figure they go to high school get by play basketball and get what ever they can for the time that they are there. As for the kids that don t need it and recive all that free stuff and plan on going to college, they don t even see the court because they are suspended by the NCAA. So there is no winner in any of these situations, except the major company s who just find the next star they can flourish with gifts.
The Last aspect of the movie that was discussed through out the film was Jesus relationship with his father. Jesus didn t claim his father because he killed his mother when he was young, and he dislodged of the teachings his father was trying to put into his head growing up. God forgives, when will you (3) (Jake) Jesus does not want to forgive his father because he feels that he killed his mother on purpose and that he didn t love her. In my opinion, he has the right to be mad at him and he doesn t have to forgive him unless he feels like letting him in his heart. The whole film they only made a couple of scenes that looked at that part of the story. If that was one of the major parts of the film, then the directors should have gone more into depth with that storyline more. He and his father had many problems that they should have worked out, but in the film, they were just at peace with each other at the end.
In the Documentary, Hoop Dreams Arthur Agee and William Gates face a lot of the same issues as Allen in He Got Game , but they face that early when their getting ready to enter High School. Arthur Agee fell into to the business end of basketball when he was kicked out of St. Joseph s. The school promised him that he had a scholarship to the school if he would come to the school and play basketball for them, but when he got there and didn t make the progress that, they were hoping he would. That isn t fair to him or his family because they put some unreal expectations upon him that he was unaware of and he had to suffer the consequences because of it. When these schools recruit kids they should tell them what they expect of them and how they want them to progress in that year, and what their expectations are for the year. By doing this they can have an Idea of what they need to do and how they should go about doing it. In my opinion, they shouldn t give these false means of security, to build them up and break them down slow.
William Gates was involved in the business too, but he flourished under his circumstances that he was given. William also had something that Arthur didn t that was worth more at the time, he had a more mature body and more developed skills and was more desired because of that. Since he was more skilled and bigger physically, they found a way for him to stay in school, unlike Arthur. If St Josephs could find a way for William to stay, they could have done the same for Arthur, but they were just looking at the present and not the future. If they would have looked at the future then Arthur probably would have been a better investment than William because he was a better player win he was older, and he didn t have as many health problems. “You’ve got to realize that nobody cares about you. You’re a young black male. All you’re supposed to do is deal drugs and mug women. The only reason why you’re here is so you can make their team win, and if the team wins these schools get a lot of money. This whole thing revolves around money.” (4) (Spike Lee) (Hoop Dreams) If they these kids and their parents would have realized that it was just a business then they probably wouldn t have gone to that school. This aspect of recruiting is not told to you, some things you have to figure out on your own. Basketball is a money business just like movies; if the product doesn t sell or win, you get fired. Both are cruel industries; if you play, play to win.
In conclusion, the film industry is about making quality films, in most other cases it is about money. I don t think that the money should over shadow the film and what you re trying to say in the film. If it was just about money, why aren t there more films about money instead of high school kids playing basketball? There aren t more films like that because they don t sell, and people want to see some thing that they can relate too. Basketball is a business filled with many politics; it is only going to get worse as long as it just keeps getting bigger. Coaches always talks about sportsmanship and conducting your self with class on the court, but the big businesses don t do it, so why teach kids to do it. If we conduct ourselves like animals, we should not expect our kids not to do the same. The bottom line is we should worry about sports and their roots, and not our pockets.
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