Margin Notes

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

Jul
13

Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops introduces us to Bunny Thompson and Nasir Blake.  The boys have grown up together as best friends and teammates.  All that changed, however, when Bunny accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the prestigious prep school, St. Sebastian.

Bunny is driven to be the best player he can, motivated by the hopes that a successful career in basketball will help him support his family financially.  He is trying to navigate through his new existence as an outsider wherever he goes—he doesn’t feel like he fits in with the wealthy students at his new school and his old friends from his neighborhood treat him like he abandoned his team.  He questions whether he should have taken, or even deserves, the exceptional opportunity he has been given.

Nas is angry that Bunny accepted the scholarship without even discussing it with him.  As he watches his friend receiving accolades and attention, Nasir’s cousin Wallace is about to be evicted from the apartment where he lives with his elderly grandmother.  Nas worries about the choices Wallace is making in the hopes of keeping a roof over his head.

When Wallace starts betting against Bunny and the St. Sebastian team, Nas realizes that his cousin is in serious trouble. As St. Sebastian continues to win, Nasir find himself facing an almost impossible decision.  Is he willing to betray Bunny and everything he has worked for in order to save Wallace?

Once I started reading When the Shot Drops, I had a hard time putting it down.  It would be an excellent title to book talk and will appeal to readers who have enjoyed titles such as All American Boys, The Hate U Give, and Dear Martin.

 

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