What is the theme of the poem "Ex-Basketball Player"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The theme of the poem is the idea that one must move on, not simply cling to one important memory in one's life. In the poem, the main character was a high school basketball star. He obviously thought that his popularity would last forever and never really prepared himself for his future beyond high school. But popularity is fickle and people forget others' past glories. So the boy who had been one of the most popular students in school, became a gas station attendant, still living on his memories of being a high school basketball player. He never moved on and now is stuck in a boring, mediocre life with few chances to advance.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial