There was a nice turnout for the film, with just scattered seats and the front row open. Nick Young and his family sat in the back row. USC sprinter Carol Rodriguez was with Young. That has to be one of the most athleticly talented couples in the world.
After the film, Young was asked of his dream destination on draft day. He said he’d like to stay home and replace Kobe if he’s traded. Perhaps if the Lakers trade with the Bulls to get the ninth pick. Kobe for Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Nick Young and P.J. Brown? Probably not, but I think that could work out for the Lakers.
Don’t read on if you are going July 1 and don’t want to have anything spoiled.
USC and Young’s time as a Trojan isn’t the focus of the film. It’s all on his senior year of high school, his battle to qualify for college and the impact his playing had on his family after the tough times they had been through with the murder of his brother. You don’t see Young in a USC uniform until the credits, where a few minutes of his highlights as a Trojan are shown. There is one part where Cleveland coach Andre Chevalier said that, in Nick’s first year at the school, he asked all the players what was their first choice for college and Young said USC. Then everyone laughed because no one ever said USC was their first choice for a basketball school. How things have changed.
Henry Bibby and one of his assistants are shown briefly in a home visit after St. Joseph’s and a few other schools had been trying to get Young despite his oral commitment to the Trojans. Bibby wants Young to shut these other schools down. Really, nothing is said that would paint USC in a bad light. It’s normal recruiting. The assistant does most of the talking.
Young said after the film that he thought his father, Charles Sr., was the star. It’s surprising because Charles is a quiet person while Nick’s mother Mae, the one always waving her towel and yelling at USC games, has the outgoing personality. But Charles has some great one-liners. When Nick and his mother were thinking he could go straight to the NBA from high school, Charles said that everyone was talking about NBA while he was thinking about B.A., or a college degree. Charles is also the one pushing Nick to USC, often wearing a USC shirt and telling Bibby not to worry, that his son will be going to the school. An interesting side note is that Charles originally came to Los Angeles with the intention of being an actor. He finally has his big-screen debut.
There’s more of Marcus, the killer of Charles Jr., than I expected. I had viewed one of his scenes. He’s actually shown three or four times. After serving seven years in a juvenile facility for the murder, he went to college and gets a six-figure job as, I believe, a legal recruiter. He’s applying to top-10 business schools to get an MBA. He’s extremely apologetic about his youth. He now tells his story to kids at a church to try to help them avoid his mistakes. He tried to reach out to talk to the Young family. Charles originally says he wants to meet Marcus but backs out after talking to a social worker who was making the arrangements.
There were a lot of laughs and cheers and, I’m sure, some tears from the crowd.
“That’s what I really wanted to see, how people would react,” Young said. “It was great.”