Does he go to college?
The short answer is that we do not know. The author certainly sets the ending up to hint at this, but he leaves it a mystery as to whether Lonnie actually makes it to college. The book ends with Lonnie pursuing scholarships and committing to getting into college any way he can, hopefully with the help of his exceptional basketball skills. The mystery is an intentional representation of what the author chooses to indicate through Lonnie’s life—the reality that life is almost always uncertain and unforgiving.
Lonnie mentioned that Cal still had “game,” or some kind of personal character or virtue despite a past marred by gambling. He hoped that he could improve his own “game,” but we are left to wonder if even that noble promise bore fruit in the real world. His last missed shot while attempting to instruct a couple young basketball players leaves readers wondering if Lonnie will make it, in either life and basketball. Readers are thus left to question whether they too can have such certainty that they will reach their desired destinations in life’s journey.
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