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Grades The First Road To Success Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

What does success mean to you? This essay will show how one ordinary man changed the lives 15 young men and put them on the road to success as it inspired many to do the same with their lives. It will also show how grades should come before anything else. Education in school is the 1st road to success. You will have more job opportunities through the subjects that you learn in school than any other extracurricular activity. Some kids believe that they can rely on other talents to help get them through life. Those talents could be band or sports. But only two percent of all college athletes make it to the pro’s. There are also not enough music careers to include everybody either. The most important thing that you can do to have success is to listen in the classroom.
Coach Ken Carter was born in Fernwood, MS and then moved with his family from a small town in Mississippi to the big city of Richmond, CA. During his high school years, he played basketball from 1973 to 1977 setting all kinds of records for scoring, assists, and steals that would stay on for 30 years until his own son, Damien, would break all of them. Carter then went to college. He attended two very prestigious universities, George Fox and San Francisco State on basketball scholarships. As a job, he purchased and operated two sporting goods stores, a saloon, and a barbershop. He was then offered a job to coach the struggling Richmond High School basketball team, who had a 4-22 record the year before. In the beginning of the season, he have his players sign contracts to sign telling them to meet certain academic standards. They included maintaining a 2.3 GPA, attending all their classes, sitting in the front row of those classes, wearing a tie on gameday, and addressing all adults as “sir” and “ma’am”. All three basketball teams (varsity, junior varsity, and freshman) were undefeated at a very impressive 13-0 record and were thought to make it to the state championship. But with all of the success on the court, 15 out of 45 of the players on the team suffered in what the coach emphasized the most: schoolwork. Those 15 players had violated the contract. So instead of punishing those 15 players, Carter punished the whole team by putting a padlock on the gym and sending his players to the library with tutors. “ I know you guys like stats so let me give you some,” says Carter to his players, “ Richmond High only graduates 50% of its students, and of those 50% that graduate, only 6% go to college. So when I walk down these hallways and look in your classrooms I think to myself, maybe only 1 student is going to go to college. Well damn Coach Carter if I’m not going to go to college, where am I going to go? Now that’s a great question. And the answer for young African American men is this, probably to prison. In this county, 33% of all black males get arrested. So look at the guy on our left, now look at the guy on your right. One of you is going to get arrested. Growing up in Richmond,...

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