In the poor urban area of Richmond, California, the only thing more common than the violence is that deliquesce within the high school system - especially on the Richmond basketball team. With inflated rates of murder, violence and local crime students have affiliated themselves with negative forces that will have detrimental results. Many youth end dropping out of school and of that, majority will wind up in prison. However, Ken Carter makes it his objective to be the catalyst for a massive social shift. Taking the position of the Richmond basketball team coach, Coach Carter plans on inspiring the youth to continue their education and create safe, happy and successful lives for themselves. But, this of course is easier said than done.
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However, Carter’s rules were firm and he wouldn’t allow any lack of consistency in his team. He assigned Cruz with the nearly impossible task of completing 10,000 pushups and suicides. When Cruz inevitable fails this task and his dreams of rejoining the team are crushed, the team members he had deserted early now help him complete the task based on the virtue of teamwork Carter invested in them.
Cruz dependency on the basketball team can be seen in the most extreme case in the string of events that followed the shooting of his uncle, Renny. Cruz finds himself blood splattered at Coach Carter’s house, pleading for a spot of the Richmond basketball team. This is because through the basketball team, Carter had created a safe haven, shielding the members from the horror of their violet urban community. For Cruz, the being a member of the team was for more than playing the game, it was being accepted into a safe family.
Now accepted, polarizing where Cruz was at the beginning of the movie, he is now a condition to Carter’s movement. It is also thanks to Carter’s social change that Cruz is now excelling in many aspects of his life where he had previously given up on. Member to an undefeated team, thriving academically, the prospect of attending college is now conceivable. Now, more than ever, Cruz has felt a sense of belonging and true friendship with his fellow players.
From a sociological standpoint, Cruz can be defined as