Guest Post: Hoop Dreams

Here is a guest post by one of my students, Branden Frazier, author of the excellent blog Become Legendary that chronicles basketball related topics and his own journey to reach the NBA.

Hoop Dreams
by Branden Frazier

Hoop Dream is a 1994 documentary film directed by Steve James. It follows the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.
The film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two teenagers who are recruited by a scout from Saint Joseph's High School in Westchester, Illinois, a primarily white high school with an outstanding basketball program. Alumni include NBA great Isiah Thomas. They have to commute to school everyday and engage in persistent, extensive and challenging workouts in a distant collective environment in which they are not comfortable. This was the toughest thing to overcome at this period of time.

Gates and Agee struggle to improve their athletic skills because of the difficult adjustment and the heavy competition. Along the way, their families commend their accomplishments and improvements as the year goes on and also during times of economic hardship. It was hard keeping these boys in school more than a month with all the economic problems.

The film explores a number of concerns about race, education and values in modern America. It also showcases one of the most intimate views of inner-city life to be captured on film. Although, neither Agee or Gates were drafted into the NBA, the film makes them relevant to basketball history across the world. Agee and Gates will always be remembered because this is a film that will inspire every generation. Both young men were able to turn the film's success and their succeeding fame into a better life for themselves and their families, which is the most important part.

Hoop Dreams was a movie I saw as a little kid that inspired me to play basketball. It taught me to stay humble and appreciate everything that life brings me -- the value of family and the importance to strive for your goals. Hoop Dreams is a movie I’m sure every basketball player has seen, and I’m also sure that by watching the movie it motivated them to take advantage of every opportunity. Hoop Dreams is a part of who I am today.