by Walter Dean Myers

Hoops is about 17 year old, Lonnie Jackson who lives in Harlem. He is from a unstable family but is considered to be very good at playing basketball. This book describes how tough it is to get into college and how hard life is when you live in Harlem. Lonnie and his friends decide to enter a citywide tournament. They recruit an ex-pro basketball star, Cal Johnson. The story progresses with Cal and Lonnie's shaky relationship through the Tournament of Champions.

Lonnie comes from a single mother home. He and his mother's relationship is not close. Lonnie works and lives at the "Grant", a run-down hotel. He spends most of the time playing basketball at the "center" with his friends including Paul, his main man. Paul's younger sister, Mary Ann is Lonnie's girlfriend. Lonnie states his claim to fame is his ball playing. He is told he is good enough to be professional. His attitude and ego become a problem .

One day, Lonnie and his friends decide to enter the Tournament of Champions. They hear that there will be scouts there. At first meeting Cal, who is known as a local bum and drinker, they find he played for the NBA and really knows the game. Lonnie and Cal play each other. Cal wins, and he becomes the team's coach. Cal and Lonnie become very close. Cal lets Lonnie know his secrets. Cal had been forced to quit playing after he was caught accepting bribes in a point shaving scandal. Cal is extremely hard on Lonnie and uses him as an example.

During the tournament, Mary Ann and Lonnie find that Paul has gotten into trouble by stealing welfare checks. Paul is trying to impress people and prove he is someone he is not. Cal ends up disappearing, and Lonnie must take charge of his team. Cal ends up in jail for fighting gamblers. The gamblers want Cal to quit coaching. Mary Ann gives Lonnie Paul's stolen money to bail Cal out of jail. Lonnie and the team give Cal another chance to coach. Mary Ann gets beat up by Paul's boss and ends up in the hospital.

Lonnie sometimes lets his ego get in the way of his mental progression. Lonnie ends up getting two technical fouls and gets kicked out for the rest of the game. But, somehow the team ends up in the championship game. Cal makes a recommendation to the gamblers that his team will lose, because their best player, Lonnie is sitting out of the game. At the championship game, Lonnie must make a choice between making money by taking bribes and selling out or learn from Cal's mistake by taking his team to victory. There are college scouts at the game, and he could fix up his life and go to college. Cal does the right thing and puts Lonnie in the rest of the game knowing it is a life and death decision. Lonnie's team ends up winning in the last couple of seconds by doing a play Cal gave them.

After the game, there is chaos and Cal ends up being stabbed and dies. Lonnie tells Cal he did the right thing and didn't lose his love for the game. Mary Ann gets out of the hospital and Lonnie and her talk. Lonnie tells her that he has gotten some scholarship offers. She tells him to do the right thing and not to lose his dream. Lonnie decides he going to make the right choice. The book ends with Lonnie watching two small boys playing ball. Lonnie walks over and says he has some moves to show them on the court.http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Hoops/70332

Hoops 9.5 of 10 on the basis of 4161 Review.