Booktalking "Game" by Walter Dean Myers
Drew's mom sees inner city kids shot dead outside and wants him to stay out of the street. He does, but he also goes to legal hearings about other kids in trouble. Other guys without the smarts, or guys that get into trouble with drugs or the law — they don't make it. Maybe they don't have support from someone like Drew's mother.
Luckily, 6'5" Drew excels at basketball and has no dreams of wasting his life for nothing. On the contrary — he wants to play for the NBA. His sister Jocelyn wants to be a star in Hollywood or attend Harvard University. Drew has a coach named House, who is detail-oriented to the point where he insists that the centers shoot within six feet of the rim because more baskets are statistically made at that distance. House was courteous enough to issue everyone tape measures so that they would be familiar with the distance.
Want to know what really happens in sports practice? Do you know what a "wing drill" is? Game is full of three-second violations, penalties, and ball court drama. As Drew states, "[It was] just me and what I knew: the court, the hoop, the sound of the ball on the floor." The choreography of the game is a kinesthetic artistry. It's like a dance, a relationship, an athletic strategy. It's how the team lives. They love the game. They have to play it because they love it, for themselves. What do you care about that makes a conversation, a life, or a pastime?
Explore Walter Dean Myers books at The New York Public Library