Hoop Dreams by: Deaken BUsh

Why do so many young kids want to be in the NBA instead of having a good education? My book is called Hoop Dreams and there are two kids who live in tough parts of Chicago. This is their story about how basketball helps them get out of tough situations. Both of these characters are trying to help their family with money if they make it to the NBA, and one of them uses it to get out of the house. In addition to poverty, I also learned about how basketball can be played and help get out of the tough urban areas and lastly I learned about how important education is. These factors play big roles in each of these characters lives.

Where these two boys lived and grew up is really hard. They both live in the urban area of Chicago, were poverty is second nature. According to the Chicago reporter, 10% or more people lived in deep poverty from last year. This gets worse though in one part of Chicago called Burnside; about 35% of the people are in deep poverty. The average individual in deep poverty in Chicago makes $5,885 a year. Compared to the the average U.S. citizen, that is very small. The average U.S. citizen makes around $35,000 dollars according to U.S. Census Bureau. That means that the people in poverty are making about a seventh of what an average american makes. $5,885 is not enough money to keep a family going for a long time so when people are not being able to find a job, they are just digging a deeper and deeper hole. Poverty is a very big problem for families and individuals and creates some violence so this problem needs to get cleaned up.

When kids are young and they aren’t living in the nicest places they look towards sports to get money. Basketball can be a way to get out of a lot of things, not just to get money, but to get away from bad stuff like drugs and violence. According to the New York Times on Hoop Dreams, at the time in the late 1980s, the crack epidemic was at its highest and so was the murder rate. In these times kids were having tough times staying safe and one way that they could remove themselves of all of this bad stuff is go to a school and play basketball. According to The Sportster, Lebron James and Serge Ibaka are just a couple of the players that lived in poverty and came out of it to play in the NBA. When these kids are young and see that the best player that plays right now came out of poverty there is some motivation to want to go out and be like him. If you're very good at basketball and make it to the NBA you will get your family out of poverty and that is what all of these kids want to do.

Education is a very easy way to get jobs and can help you a lot in the long run. Education is a huge part of everyone's life but it can be very hard to get for some and others don’t take it seriously when they have the chance. First education can help you get a job and that gets you money. When you are able to read and write well you can get a job that is higher paid or the job you wanted when you grew up. Also education can help you be happy if you are able to get a job and stay there and do what you like then it was totally worth it going to school for so long. When you are educated you are what society expects so you fit in and are able to contribute to the community and school. Education is very important because of all of the stuff you can do when you are educated. Also in some schools to play basketball you have to have good grades and if you don’t, you're not allowed to play on the team. Finally, education can just help you in the places you think you don’t need it and you will be glad that you learned everything.

Even though some kids grow up in tough situations in these urban areas they can use basketball to help them get an education and get out of poverty. I'm sure all of these kids would take the life that I am able to live over their own but they don’t have a choice. This means they all have to fight and try super hard to get what they want when we don’t even have to break a sweat.

Works Cited

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Baumgaertner, Gabriel. "Hoop Dreams: Where Are the Main Figures Now?" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/feb/18/hoop-dreams-where-are-the-main-figures-now>.

Emmanuel, Adeshina. "Black Chicagoans Most Likely to Live in Deep Poverty." Chicago Reporter. 07 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://chicagoreporter.com/black-chicagoans-most-likely-to-live-in-deep-poverty/>.

Havervold, Kale. "15 Athletes Born Into Extreme Poverty." TheSportster. 23 June 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.thesportster.com/entertainment/15-athletes-born-into-extreme-poverty/>.

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Nocera, Joe. "A ‘Hoop Dreams’ Sequel, Written by Gun Violence." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/sports/ncaabasketball/hoop-dreams-shawn-harrington-guns-chicago.html>.

"An Oral History of Hoop Dreams, 20 Years after Its Première." The Dissolve. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://thedissolve.com/features/oral-history/360-an-oral-history-of-hoop-dreams-20-years-after-its-/?page=all>.

Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-reasons-why-education-extremely-important-mohamed-reda>.

Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://www.quora.com/How-much-money-does-the-average-American-make-in-their-lifetime>.

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