What is the theme of the book Slam! by Walter Dean Myers?

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One of the main themes of the story is the importance of teamwork. Although basketball is a team game, Slam is a bit of a lone wolf, playing for himself more than for others. It's notable that the coach starts to think of Slam as a bit of a showboat,...

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One of the main themes of the story is the importance of teamwork. Although basketball is a team game, Slam is a bit of a lone wolf, playing for himself more than for others. It's notable that the coach starts to think of Slam as a bit of a showboat, someone who's not prepared to give his all for the team.

With all the other problems going on in Slam's life, he somehow needs to reconcile his heightened sense of individuality, both as a young man and as an athlete, with the needs of the basketball team. At first, it's pretty hard for Slam to do this. His ego holds him back from developing good relationships with his teammates, and they start getting into fights. It's only when Slam's team, Latimer, is losing to his old school, Carver, in the state championship game that he finally realizes the value of teamwork. Somehow Slam's able to put aside his ego and at long last start playing for the team, with the result that Latimer defeats Carver.

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In many ways the theme is individual vs. society and the individual figuring out their place in society.  Greg is a star basketball player trying to figure out how to balance basketball, school work, and a relationship with his girlfriend.  The story revolves around him trying to figure out which one should be a priority and deciding whether or not to switch schools knowing he likely wouldn't fit in in the new school.  Of course the entire time he is also dealing with crime and other dangers in his neighborhood.

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