Does Reardan's basketball coach affect Junior and the novel as a whole in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian?

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Absolutely.  Junior's basketball coach at Reardan is a major influence in his life.  When Junior first arrives at Reardan, he is bullied by Roger and does not play very well.  However, Junior puts much time into practice, and for this, the Coach respects him.  He gives Junior the confidence to put his new skills to work.  Coach then adds Junior to the starting line and this leads Junior to play a major role in winning the game against the rez.  Coach allows Junior to see that sometimes the underdog can come out on top.  Because Coach serves as a strong role model, Junior is able to stand up for himself and showcase his talents.

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