illustration of a car crash, a grave, empty liquor bottles, a basketball, and a young man crying

Tears of a Tiger

by Sharon M. Draper

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What does Andy believe is the reason the team won their first game after the accident in Tears of a Tiger?

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Andy says that the reason the basketball team won their first game after the car accident in which one of their players (Rob) died was because Rob's parents were in attendance. Andy tells the coach that:

Seein' them up there really made us want to win tonight - it made us not want to give up.

In other words, the team wanted to win for Rob's parents, perhaps as a way of honoring their son.

The coach tells Andy that he, Andy, is "the glue that's holding the team together," and that without Andy, the team would "fall apart." The implication is that the team also won the game because Andy wanted so desperately to win. He was the one driving the car when Rob was killed, and he is still, at this point in the story, overwhelmed with grief and guilt. Perhaps the team wanted to win for him as well.

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