?In every four character story, each of those characters usually has a very unique personality, but are still compatible for them to be a group of close friends. Tchaka is the one most likely to be successful; Corey is smart, talented, however corrupt; Stephon is naive; Russell is known to be the most unpredictable. Each of their roles are significant to each others well being.
Tchaka Shipp is the most physically gifted of the bunch; he’s very strong and fast, he’s more physically dominant on the court than Russell, Corey, and Stephon even though he is shorter than most power forwards in the NCAA. He is a walking success story waiting to happen; blessed with a body full of great power and strength, a stable home life in a neighborhood in Queens, and a natural intelligence, it seems like it is his destiny to make it out, and get “that 700” on his SATs early in his senior year. He learned the game of basketball pretty late. Originally, cycling was his main sport but a cycling career path for him seemed to have a dead end. His determination to learn the game of basketball showed how successful he wanted to be and he didn’t try to let anything or anyone stop him. He practiced on courts by viciously attacking the basket with wreckless abandon, usually by dunking (and screaming afterwards). Off the court, he constantly watches tapes of college games for numerous hours in order to learn new moves. Tchaka also tries to help his game mentally, since he’s the one most fazed by pressure during games (i.e. playing horribly in his first few ABCD games for due to nerves and shooting air-balls a free throw during a summer league game.)
Another way that he shows his dedication to success he is constantly attempting to balance a more poised image of himself with the reality of who he is as a male brought up in a rough neighborhood. This is shown during an interview after a Tchacka team loses he breaks his poised and civilized character and utters out “Damn, did you see that last dunk? That nigga was buggin’! Cocked that shit to his nuts! (Embarrassed pause) Um, don’t quote me on that, okay?”
Having great potential and 700 on the SAT, Tchaka is also the one who experienced the full force of NCAA recruiting the most. He is always visited by coaches from top schools with promises of playing time, future stardom, an education, and a personal attention. One coached promised that if Tchaka comes to his school, he will receive an ample amount of playing time and he’ll be apart of a family, a brotherhood. The coach pushed the “family angle” so far to point that he stated that he wished to still be in contact with Tchaka even after twenty years after playing for him. Tchaka felt that that was the best route for him and learned that it wasn’t, the hard way. He attended the school and was merely forgotten; being benched for the whole season with a small amount of minutes made him realize that all of that the coach was pitching was simply a ploy to lure Tchaka into his school. Still determined for personal success, Tchaka transferred to another school where he received more playing time but not enough. During that year he transferred, he was a victim of a car accident, leaving him physically unable to play the way he usually did. The way that Tchaka carried himself and channeled a positive aura about him showed how likely he was to be successful. Unfortunately a knuckle-headed coach and an unfortunate car accident became a permanent obstacle for him to achieve that level of success that he desired.
Corey Johnson is the most popular of the four. He’s known for his way with women consummate sense of style and impeccable swagger. He is always wearing the
latest fashion and there is never a time where Corey isn’t talking to a girl or capitalizing on opportunity to gain her undivided attention. Although he lived in glory of his notoriety, his academic achievement seemed to leave the traditional high school popularity-academics ratio unbalanced; leaning more towards popularity. Corey has been often described as the smartest of the group.