Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Coach Carter

I am dissapointed at my decision last winter to pass this movie up in the theatres and save it for a future rental. It was most definately worthy of a $9.50 box office ticket at the regal cinema in dowtown Brea, California. Instead I cosied up in my down comforter on my extra large couch and experienced anger, laughter and tears as I watched this true story about a Richmond High School basketball team and their coach named Carter.

No one on his team knew who won last year's state championship, yet it was of incredible importance to the players to focus on this as their goal- funny so it seems. Ken Carter was not just interested in winning basketball games; he was devoted to showing his players that achieving success in the classroom was more important than achieving success on the court. Coach was formerly a player at the same Richmond Highschool and memories of fellow players who ended up dead or in jail plagued him - and he was determined to put an end to it.

Richmond high school only graduates 50% of their seniors, only 6% of whom go on to college. It is 80% more likely for african americans in that area to go to jail than to go to college. Upon taking the job at RHS, Carter has each of his players sign a contract that includes that they maintain a 2.3, attend class and sit in the front row, and wear a tie on game days. Carter preached that along with their gift to play basketball they needed to prove themselves in the classroom to be recruited by colleges. These extreme demands from coach Carter only riled the players and stirred the community to rebellion - would his persevereance endure, could he open the eyes and hearts of his team and their fans?

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