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Coach Carter's Inspirational Character

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'Coach Carter' is an American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter. In this paper I'm going to discuss how the main character of this fascinating movie, Ken Carter, demonstrates demonstrates his inspirational character.

The Mississippi business, writer, coach and family man, Ken Carter’s motivation and inspiring work ethic has been seen to become a world-known person on and off the court by throwing himself in the deep end and taking up a coaching role with a struggling, troublesome, and unwealthy basketball team. Carter's decision brought him back down memory lane as he was coaching at Richmond High School, the school he set many records at when was in high school. Since a young age Carter was a passionate basketball fan. Throughout his life he faced many challenges and obstacles, but never gave up for what he believed in and kept the same beliefs even though he was doubted.

Ken Carter’s acute love for basketball began when he was a young boy, as his early days in high school Carter had been setting records, for instance, he holds the Richmond High School record for assists, points and steals, but off the court Carter’s achievements helps define his character and his beliefs off the court. Coach Carter faced many obstacles at the beginning of his journey as a coach, but his persistent and hard work paid off. Carter’s goals were to teach the disorderly teens respect, discipline, teamwork and the values of education. Carter’s positive attitude and hard-working drive is an outstanding trait and represents examples of an inspiring character. According to this quote, it demonstrates how motivated carter is: “If you get one percent better each day, within one hundred days you'll be one hundred percent better”. Ken Carter’s individual brilliance completely changed the disoriented teens from being troublesome teens, who couldn't work as a team to being the number one team to beat. For instance, in the film Coach Carter implemented rules and guidelines to follow making each student sign contracts, stating that they will treat others with respect, participate and display effort in class, neglect alcohol and drugs and had to hold a GPA of 2.3 to be able to play.

Carter’s persistency began to be proven as it was shown in the film that he forfeited and locked the gym due to the players’ academic GPA, putting the students’ education before sports and made the more intelligent students tutor the struggling. Carter’s hard work paid off. Even of his students, in the film said, “You said we're a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph”. Those moves worked for the better and Ken Carter coached the team to win the Grand Slam Championship and gave the students hope.

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Moreover, on the other hand, other than basketball, Carter had other achievements, such as he is a founder of a non-profit organization that supports education, training and mentoring for minority youths. In addition, it can be proven that Ken Carter is an outstanding character as he changed and supported the students and helped them strive for the best.

Throughout Carter’s time at Richmond High School, he experienced multiple obstacles and challenges along the way. His first encounter with his team was very rough and wasn't a good start. When he introduced himself to the team, one of the students stated: “We hear you, dog, but we can't see you. The glare from your big black-ass head is hella shiny man, do you buff it”. Uncivil behavior from another student Cruz was evoked from one of Carter’s comments, and led to Cruz trying to attack coach and was kicked out of the gym. Ken’s decision to lock out the undefeated ball team for not following their academic contacts was not supported by the community and started an outburst of rage from the community, parents and even the head of education voted to end the lockout, parents even wanted to fire Coach Carte, but decided to quit. Carter’s intentions were not to punish the children, but to teach them a lesson, as he stated in the film: “I'm trying to teach these boys discipline that will inform lives and give them choices, if you indorse the fact that fifteen, sixteen and seventeen-year-old boys don't have to honor the simple rules of a basketball game, how long do you think it's before they are on the streets breaking laws”. In addition, Ken Carter was doubted, insulted and physically attacked, but his strong mind, will power and maturity got the upper hand of the doubters, and in the end his team showed him loyalty and followed the lockout and began their study before practicing. It was shown his hard work on trying to change the culture at the school paid off and in the end the team won the championship.

Coach Carter is a role model for his ability to see people for more than their sporting ability. Although basketball is his passion, he knows that success does not define a person and there is more to life than being a talented athlete. He pushes through the negative views of his team’s parents who believe that their children lack intellectual capacity and that ‘basketball is the life of their son’. Carter is determined to transform each individual from troublesome teens to aspiring adults because he sees their worth, as both students and athletes. The goal for Coach Carter is of course to win basketball games but beyond that, improve his player's human beings. He aims to bring each player hope that they have the ability to go to university or obtain a scholarship. The idea of having a degree seems absurd for some parents who lack faith in their children. Coach Carter is an inspirational role model because he sees potential in each team member. Even with the players and their parent's doubt, he finds a way to reach into the hearts and minds of the children and turn them into adults.

Carter pushes past all the disbelief and teaches each individual how to behave to be a winner on and off the court. Coach Carter inspires me because of his role model qualities. No matter the challenges he is faced with, his faith in each team member is strong. He is a man who does not condition himself to the opinions of others but fights for what is right and what he believes in. Carter says: “I came to coach basketball players and you became students. I came here to teach boys and you became men”. This idol man is one of true inspiration for his diligence and concern for his team as individuals, outside of and on the basketball court.

Ken Carter inspiring nature has changed and assisted many lost and confused teenagers throughout his journeys. Cater has displayed unselfishness and caring nature for others. The inspirational coach has shown his inspirational character as he overcame many different obstacles such as doubt and criticism. He could have given up on those students, but he was committed to helping them gain a future for themselves. Carter has persistency shown that he has the traits of an inspirational person as he portrays commitment, recognizes the true potential in people and perseverance.

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Coach Carter’s Inspirational Character. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Coach Carter’s Inspirational Character.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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Coach Carter’s Inspirational Character [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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