Jamal Wallace is a Black American talented 16-year-old basketball player in Bronx, New York whose secret passion is writing. William Forrester is a reclusive Pulitzer Prize- winning novelist who never gave the world a second novel. After an accidental meeting, Forrester becomes Jamal's unlikely mentor, providing guidance to help the young man's exceptional skills. Soon, Forresters harsh view of the world begins to change as both men learn lessons from each other about life and the importance of friendship.
Two socio-emotional characteristics stood out in Jamal which are intense interests, drives, and passion and his tendency toward introversion.
Jamal's passion in writing was kept a secret because his school, an all Black school does not have any program that can help develop his giftedness. There was nobody to motivate and encourage him. He was a C average student because he wasn't challenge enough by his teachers. His teachers did not even know he is gifted until he took a state assessment test given to all high school students. The result was very impressive. Because he was also talented in playing basketball and his friends like playing basketball too, he felt that his friends would leave him if he tells them about his hidden talent. Even when the result of the test showed how gifted he was, he pleaded his Mom to keep it a secret. I think he does not want anybody know about it because he thought there's no place for a Black student living in the Bronx section to be identified gifted. He became an underachiever because his father was a drug addict and in jail and his brother left him with his Mom to take care of him. The environment is not the right place to nurture his gift. The result was that his educational needs were neglected by his school and his family which in turn affected his morale. He wasn't motivated to show his talent in writing and his emotional aspirations, sense of...