SOC 215 Sports in Society
The Last Shot
Paper # 1
October 2, 2012
Growing up in Coney Island seemed to be no easy task. For many, basketball may have been the only way out. For Russell, Tchaka, Stephon, and Cory it was the way out. It was a way for them to escape the rough environment and the poverty stricken streets that they were forced to reside in during their youth. Though each individual had their own destinies, the game of basketball was their release. It kept them from falling victim to the violence of the neighborhood and the almost certain failure that many of their peers eventually endured.
As the author implied, basketball was the only way to escape the poverty and crime of Coney Island. I believe in some ways that could have been true, but overall there are many other ways to overcome such adversities other than playing the game of basketball. Basketball may have kept them level headed and out of trouble, but as we see the sport did not prepare them for the game of life. Though Stephon went on to have a professional career in the NBA, his peers weren’t as lucky. Basketball for them was just a simple means of a way out of Coney Island which they all received an opportunity at because of the sport, but apparently none of them seemed to have had any back up plans incase all was to fail. I believe the game may have been a major distraction to Corey, Tchaka, and Russell. They never prepared themselves to not make it to the NBA, which left them all with nothing to fall back on.
I do think basketball is a valid option for most students to escape poverty, but without the talent and character of someone like Stephon, getting drafted to the NBA is virtually impossible. Basketball may open a few doors but there’s still no guarantee. There’s a responsibility to knowing yourself and when it’s time to start taking other things such as the degree’s that can be earned...