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Basketball or Nothing


A friend of mine recommended a Netflix series called Basketball or Nothing. The documentary is about the Chinle, Arizona high school basketball team located on a Reservation and the struggles they faced on and off the court. It has deep and profound meanings if you are aware of Reservation life.

The team had recently hired an older coach who had won championships before with other teams. He knows how to win.

The kids just want to play Rez Ball, which loosely means all offense, no discipline, fast-paced, very little defense, and everyone plays as an individual; there is no team.

The kids don’t like the coach's emphasis on discipline and structure. Defense, who cares about defense, we just want to play the way we want to play.

After losing 2 games in a row, the players come around and embrace the new coach’s way. Then everything changes.

They start having a new pride in themselves and they start playing as a team. They get closer to each other and they start winning. Three of the seniors earned scholarships to play basketball in college.

The coach typifies the father archetype that teaches life lessons through the vehicle of playing basketball.

Most of these kids will not go on to college. Only a few will ever play college basketball at all.

But the lessons from the coach will stay with them forever and forge the next generation of warriors.

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