By Oscar Martines
“Last Chance U: Basketball” has returned to East Los Angeles College and continued its focus on head Coach John Mosley and a team of mostly new players.
Following a season that had to be cut short due to a worldwide pandemic, season two turns its attention on the obstacles the entire ELAC men’s basketball team have to overcome.
From personal life battles on and off the court to the unpredictable impact of COVID-19, season two is sure to allow viewers to see how life changes for these players on a daily basis.
Coach Mosley is given the difficult task of building up a team that counts on a single returning player from the previous season and a batch of new talent in search of personal comebacks and championship glory.
Despite all the odds stacked against him, Mosley is prepared for the challenge; he is ready to lead the charge through his amazing coaching techniques and his emotionally fired-up speeches.
The first half of the season introduces the viewers to the newest members of the ELAC basketball team and gives an in-depth view of how each of them are coming into the season with something to prove on the court.
Many of them are met with enormous expectations that they are expected to accomplish no matter what they might be going through in life.
Rob Robinson, assistant coach of the ELAC men’s basketball team, made this known to the team early on in the season.
“The day you walk in, you’re proving something,” Robinson told the team. “If you’re not a good shooter, you’d better prove it. If you’re undersized and think you can play with bigger guys, you’d better prove it. If you think you’re better, then come in and do it.”
Although many of the players show committment and the desire to step onto the court to show off their talents, it is very clear to Mosley that there is a lot of work to do on this team.
The first few episodes show how the team is capable of playing well, but through losses and tempers colliding head-on they also expose where the team needs to grow, and what needs to be fixed internally to lead these young men to where they want to be.
One of the major highlights from the first half of the season is the story of center Josh Phillips, who is revealed to be living with autism.
Despite being a very taletnted ball player, Phillips feels that he is seen and treated in a negative way because of his autism.
“All my life, I’ve never been looked at positively for having autism,” Phillips said.
“It’s always been bad, or a hinderance or an extra obstacle.”
This didn’t stop Mosley from taking what others see as a negative and using it as a positive to help a young player live out his dream of playing basketball.
By altering his coaching skills, Mosley was able to help Phillips find his full potential and become a force of nature on the court.
The second half of the season shows the growth and maturity of the team.
What began as a team full of struggling talent looking to recover from their past ended with a strong unit that overcame all the odds.
The ending of the season is sure to leave a lasting impression on the viewers of the show.
Whether the players are returning to ELAC for another year or moving on to other colleges to continue their basketball journeys, Mosley hopes to continue to administer his knowledge and wisdom of basketball to future talents.
Mosley said, “Everybody’s got a gift, man. I have a gift, and I guess my gift is trying to inspire and speak to others, and I think that’s probably what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
“It just so happens that it’s basketball, the game I played, and the game I love,”
Overall, this season is able to perfectly balance the drama that the ELAC basketball team goes through and the highs and lows they all face together.