Walter Dean Myers's novel Hoops tells the story of Lonnie Jackson, a street-smart seventeen-year-old boy from Harlem, New York, with dreams of playing professional basketball. Lonnie lives in poverty in a rough neighborhood. Basketball provides an escape from his problems and serves as a symbol of hope for the future.
Lonnie's coach, Cal, once played professional basketball but was forced out after he got caught gambling on games. Cal is semi-homeless and drinks heavily to forget his past, but he does his best to pass on his knowledge of basketball and the importance of team trust to Lonnie and the rest of the team.
Cal and Lonnie's team enters and makes it to the finals of the city-wide Tournament of Champions. Gamblers put pressure on Cal to force Lonnie to sit on the bench so the team loses the big game. This is the main conflict in the...
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