Yesterday, I took time out to watch Hoop Dreams, the 1994 documentary about inner-city Chicago high school basketball players and their road to the big dream -- playing in the NBA. The movie will touch your heart yet piss you off, especially regarding the treatment of these young boys by people who obviously don't give a damn about these boys' well-beings.
Watching it for the second time, I realized that both boys, Arthur Agee, a public-high school player who failed in the private system, and William "Willy" Gates, the heavily-recruited guard, were fathers -- or going to be -- before they went to college.
Obviously there are socio-economical reasons for why this happens. But when you have the responsibility of a child and all you've ever been taught is that basketball is your only way out, you put more pressure on yourself and you fail. Both Agee and Gates didn't end up where they wanted to be.
All you have are the hoop dreams; basketball becomes your life, your only way out. A player like Kobe had options, alot of these dudes don't. Think about the psychological effect it has on a teenager. All of these boys' worths are measured by basketball. When Agee couldn't make it at St. Joseph's High School, the prep school of Isiah Thomas, and failed at playing basketball off of their standards, he was left on the wayside. Why? Because they knew they could go back in the 'hood and recruit some boy off the playground to take his place. Plus, these "recruiters" sale these kids a 'dream', a 'dream' to play in the NBA.
Even Gates, in the movie, said that playing basketball became more of a job. Well, when a baby comes into the players, you need to use that job to take care of your family. These kids were promised so many things, but ended up with nothing but a "hoop dream"