Discussion Questions The Jump 1. Jamel Thomas’ basketball experiences form the backdrop against which this story is set. What were they, and how did they influence Sebastian and his family? 2. The Coney Island culture is definitely a part of this story. How would you describe it? How did it shape Sebastian? Who influenced him the most? What was valued and not valued in his world? 3. Sebastian’s decision of college basketball vs. the NBA is one of the central themes of this book. Over the course of his senior year, things keep changing. What were some key factors and turning points leading to his final decision? 4. Sebastian’s coach, Tiny Morton, is clearly one of the most influential people in his life—at least up until he gets drafted. Do you think Morton has Sebastian’s best interests in mind? Why or why not? 5. The intersection between sneaker companies, the summer ball camps, high profile high school basketball, the colleges, and even the NBA is very intertwined and complex. What works? What doesn’t? 6. The book raises many questions about the status of amateur basketball. What changes, if any, do you think should be made? Who benefits from the system as it is? Who gets hurt? 7. Stephon Marbury and the whole Marbury family lurk on the edges of Sebastian’s life. Describe that relationship. How is Marbury is portrayed in this book? 8. One of Sebastian’s goals is to sign a lucrative sneaker deal. How does this unfold? Who courts him? Who backs off and why? What are the risks for all parties involved? 9. How did you come to view Sebastian as a person? What were his strengths and weaknesses both in his personality and in his basketball game? Do you think he has lived up to predictions made about him? 10. Who are the good guys and the bad guys in this story?
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