The Power of Dedication
In her article, “The Last Shot”, Darcy Frey takes us through the life of a struggling underprivileged senior in high school, Russell Thomas, living in the projects of Coney Island who is using his basketball talent to try and make it to the NBA in hopes of a better life. On the other end of the spectrum, in his article “The Best Pickup-Basketball Player in America”, Timothy Harper embraces the life of a 50 year old successful businessman, Allan Dalton, going through great lengths to continue playing basketball by expressing his passion for the game even though he wasn’t able to make a career from it. Allan Dalton and Russell Thomas are very different in regards to the socioeconomic status and other cultural influences, but even though these players seem like they have nothing in common they share the same dedication and passion for the game.
Allan Dalton and Russell Thomas grew up in two very different environments which made a huge impact on their privileges regarding basketball. Frey describes Russell’s impoverished and predominantly black neighborhood of New York’s Cooney Island; “In this neighborhood, on a peninsula of the southern tip of Brooklyn, there are almost no stores, no trees, no police, just block after block of gray cement projects-hulking prisonlike, and jutting straight into the sea.” This shows us that because this neighborhood is so isolated and underprivileged teenagers such as Russell Thomas had no guidance or control and were able to roam the streets all day making it more likely for them to get into trouble and go anywhere except school. The city was full of basketball courts and for the teenagers the game signified an escape from reality. On the other hand, Harper describes the setting of Allan Dalton’s geographic location and why he has to leave his neighborhood in order to find the game he is looking for. “Other husbands and fathers of his age in the leafy suburbs of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey are kicking...
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