By Steven Adamo
Before screening a portion of Netflix’s “Last Chance U,” East Los Angeles College basketball Coach John Mosley and other stars of the show met earlier this month in a panel discussion.
The panel also featured Tyrelle Hunt, Demetrius Calip, Jon Sanders and JT Langston; who are in the 2021-22 ELAC Basketball team and also on the series.
“Live in your gift, not in your curse,” one of many words of encouragement Mosley shared with the audience.
A recurring theme of Mosley’s was “paying it forward.” He said that if all he ever did was pour energy into “me time,” only he would benefit from that, not his students.
Recalling a time when he was “a screwup” and “in the gutter,” Mosley said that people still gave him a chance and offered new opportunities, which helped him turn his life around.
Because of the opportunities and guidance he received during this time, Mosley applies this to the students he coaches who may also be acting out similarly. “Those who deserve love the least, need it the most,” Mosley said.
Sanders, of the ELAC basketball team, said that Mosley’s selflessness is part of what helps him deal with his toughness as a coach.
“His expectations are really high, almost unrealistic at times, but it’s coming from a good place.” ELAC basketball’s Langston said that Mosley not only wants the players to succeed in basketball, but also in their academic studies at ELAC.
One quote of Mosley’s that stuck with Langston is “live in your gift, not in your curse.” Mosley said that regardless of personal or generational curses, “You have a gift, so live in that.”
Langston also shared the differences between pressure of being on the series versus a regular season. “We had to live up to the hype,” Langston said.
With more people in the stands now, Langston said he can spend more time having fun.
A dream of Calip’s is to be in the NBA like his father, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was 4,” Calip said.
Aside from the many accomplishments of his players, Mosley said he was also proud that the team made it through the season with the added stress of being filmed.
According to Mosley, the expectations from others also had an impact on the players, from their playing to also having to live up to the previous seasons of Last Chance U.
Mosley said that even though he has received offers that triple his salary, his time at ELAC allows him to spend time with his family and “the freedom to pour into lives.” He recalled a time when he was traveling a lot and his six-year-old daughter at the time was excited that he was able to sleep at home. “She was six and she said ‘You’re staying at our house…’ I never want that,” Mosley said.