March 5, 2014
Life and literature are both full of conflicts. There are many different kinds of conflicts and many different ways to resolve them. However, they are not always resolved. One example of this is Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann. The main conflict is between a coach, Joe Keller, and his star player, Demetrius Walker. Keller sees his way to success in Demetrius when he is just 11 years old and refuses to leave his side for the next seven years of his life. Another conflict is between Keller and the parents of the other kids. When Keller begins to treat Demetrius like his own son, some of the parents realize their kids are only there to help Demetrius succeed. Keller could care less about their futures or dreams.
It was not difficult to see the potential in Demetrius. He was taller and more athletic than the other kids but it wasn't because he had matured earlier. He had unusually long arms and a size 14 shoe which meant he still had a lot of growing to do. However, Keller somehow saw even further than all of this. Before he had even played in a game Keller said he was "the best ten-year-old in the country,""he could start for most high school teams right now," and "he'll be an NBA first rounder for sure." Keller was positive this boy would bring him success and riches. The conflict that arose from this was Keller's success versus Demetrius'. Keller pretty much advertised Demetrius to anyone who would offer any sort of money or promotions. In the end, all of this hurt Demetrius severely as a player and a person. He was spoiled by Keller and when Keller replaced his single mother, Demetrius realized that some of his failure was Keller's fault. Keller instilled no values, work ethic, or even skills in Demetrius. When the other kids began to catch up to him in high school all of this became obvious. His natural talent could only take him so far. As of right now Demetrius Walker's basketball career is over. In his senior year of high school he moved away from Southern California and Joe Keller. He began his college career at Arizona State but he left after just one season. He then played at New Mexico before transferring to Grand Canyon University last spring. He was their best player before he was suspended from the team for violating team rules in December. He hasn't been heard about since. By this time however, Keller had gotten everything he wanted out of Demetrius. He was and still is very successful. He created his own brand and basketball camps across the country that were and still are sponsored by Adidas. After these became successful he pretty much gave up on Demetrius, whose stock had been declining every year. Keller literally sacrificed the dreams and future of Demetrius for his own benefit. The conflict was never resolved and unfortunately only Demetrius payed the price for it.
Keller did not only ruin Demetrius' life though. Every kid who ever played for Keller eventually left the team. Parents and players both came to the team because they were extremely good and ended up leaving for almost the same reason. Keller got what he wanted out of everyone by constantly threatening their position or role on the team. He lied to parents for funds and help with the team. He lied to the players to try to make them play a certain way. He manipulated practically everyone involved with the team to his advantage. Even if some of the parents or players realized his antics, they still…