Crossover Poet and Inspiration: Kwame Alexander - Basketball is a powerful sport

In The Crossover, Mr. Alexander writes about basketball, which is a powerful sport.  Players on a team make powerful plays and thrust their powerful bodies into the air to shoot and score. The uniform they wear, shorts and a singlet, show off their powerful bodies. More than that, fans often get into the emotion of the game because a basketball player’s unprotected face is in full view.  A player’s disappointment or joy is seen by all because their faces are not hidden by a helmet or face guard. 

The emotion felt during a game and the important strategy behind each play makes basketball, like other sports, a powerful teacher of life.  The game moves quickly and the joy of winning or the disappointment of losing remains only for a short moment.  The way a team practices, plays and works together to reach a goal is the more important aspect of the game.  For example, an expert basketball player will unselfishly pass the ball to a teammate so both players can feel the success of making a basket. Giving to others so everyone can come out on top is a huge life lesson we can take from basketball. 

This happens in the book, The Crossover. Twin brothers, Josh and Jordan Bell, play on the same basketball team for their middle school.  They support each other in practice, at home, on the basketball court, and in life.  They soon learn that like life, the game of basketball depends on players getting along. A disagreement between them causes the brothers to stop speaking to one another. This upsets their family life and the members of their basketball team. The parents try to get their sons to patch things up. What brings the twins back together is their love for their dad and their love for basketball.

Basketball was not the sport Kwame Alexander played at school.  However, he enjoys watching the game as much as he enjoys writing about it.  His words, like the players’ moves, zoom across the page with an energy that lifts them into the air.  Mr. Alexander’s poetry is written in free verse and he often places his words to look like they are leaping into a basket, dribbling across the court or moving back and forth in thought or conversation. This type of writing is called visual poetry. The words can form an image and words often cross over from one side of the page to the next. 

TRY THIS: Read the poem, Dear Jordan, by moving your fingers down the first column of words and then down the second. For a second reading, trace your finger from left to right. Move your head from side to side or up and down while you do this.   Read it a third time and tap your fingers to a rhythm as they hop from one line of the note to the other.

Original Release: Jan 27, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

1) Fisher, Ezra, Dear Sports Fan, Dear Sports Fan.com, Oct/28/2014, Dec/18/2015, http://www.dearsportsfan.com/2014/10/28/people-like-basketball/
2) Alexander, Kwame, About Kwame, Book In A Day.org, Dec/18/2015, Dec/18/2015, http://www.bookinaday.org/index.php?page=about&family=kwame
3) Poetry Through The Ages, Poetry That Knows No Bounds, Poetry Through the Ages.org, Dec/18/2015, Dec/18/2015, http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_21_visual_examples.html

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Basketball is a powerful sport" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 27, 2016. Sep 19, 2018.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips