Movie Review: Second Chance Season

As was mentioned on Wednesday night, ESPN2 aired Second Chance Season, a documentary based on Nick Young's senior year in high school.  However, this documentary isn't your typical follow the stud athlete around as he meets every big-time head coach in the country and watch him agonize over what college to go to. 

Here's some of what Nick had to face his senior year of high school:

  • He was originally denied the chance to play senior year because he had dropped out of two high schools.  The ruling was overturned because the reason for Nick dropping out both times weren't academic.  He dropped out both times he was in classes with members of the gang responsible for murdering his brother.
  • The murder of Nick's brother, Junior, sent another one of Nick's brothers, John, into an emotional tailspin from which he's never recovered.  He spends his time living in different group homes, often not telling the family when he leaves or where he's headed which leads to more panic and stress for the family as they try to find his whereabouts whenever he changes location.
  • Even though Nick didn't drop out because of his grades, he still had to get a score of at least 820 on the SAT in order to qualify for an athletic scholarship.
  • Oh, and the best player on the cross-town rival's team is a guy by the name of Jordan Farmar.  That doesn't make things easier.

Obviously the title for the documentary comes from Nick's second chance to finish high school.  However, it also follows the story of a law firm recruiter named Marcus.  While he seems irrelevant at first, he becomes an important person in the film once it's revealed that he was the one that was responsible for murdering Nick's brother in 1991. 

Because he was 15 when he committed the murder, he could only be given a 1o year sentence (which was later reduced to a 7 year sentence) for his crime.  In the film, you see that Marcus has been able to make the most of his second chance in society, but you can also tell that he desperately wants a second chance to ask the Young family for forgiveness for his actions.  Easily one of the most compelling sub-plots I've ever seen in a documentary.

Between that and following the struggles Nick faces in his senior year in trying to pass the SAT and win the city championship, there's a lot in the movie to find compelling, even if you're not a Nick Young fan.  An appreciation for basketball certainly enhances the viewing experience, but there's plenty of content that has nothing to do with basketball that the rest of your family will find interesting as well.  It's well worth your time to check out.

Now, as for some other random notes about Nick that I gleaned from watching the movie:

  • Stylistically, he does things the same now as he did in high school.  The dribbling, shooting stroke, and everything else is largely the same as it was when he was in high school.  You don't see a lot of his mid-range game in the film, but when you've copious amounts of 3-pointers and alley-oops to choose from, highlights of the mid-range game tend to get left out.
  • In case you were wondering, Nick averaged 27.2 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 57.3% from the field and 46.8% from beyond the arc.
  • Nick spend his senior year at Cleveland High School.  Their nickname?  The Cavaliers.
  • Marcus looks and sounds a lot like Alfonso Ribiero.  Other than seeing Nick Young's first two SAT scores, this was easily the most disturbing part of the documentary for me.
  • There's one scene in the movie where Nick's coach absolutely RIPS into Nick for hogging the ball.  It's great because I can't see any NBA coach doing it in the way that he did it, and I think that's a shame.
  • They show highlights of Nick participating in the All-City Slam Dunk Competition.  The dunks are as nasty as you're envisioning them to be.
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