Growing up Junior always was around people who had no future and no hope. For a while he himself thought he had no hope. He felt like he wasn’t going to go anywhere in life. He looked at his parents and saw how his dad was a drunk and they were poor. There was no one around him that made him feel like he would have a future.
Then one day someone came to him and told him differently. Mr. P was his teacher, an old fellow. He saw something in Junior that every other kid had lost, a spark to become better. He told him that he thought he should change schools and go to Reardan where he will have a better chance of becoming someone someday. And Junior did. During his first few days you could tell he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be there. He thought about going back to Wellpinit and just living the life everyone else in the rez did. But then you see this hope inside of him; he makes it on the basketball team. He gets to hang out with the prettiest girl, Penelope. People from school start to care about him. You can his confidence go up.
When he plays his best friend Rowdy in basketball and he steals the ball from when he was about to dunk, he has this determination. He must score and he must keep Rowdy from scoring, he must prove himself. His drive to become successful gets stronger. And you can see this progression throughout the book. He starts out being a normal kid at the rez with not much hope for his future. Then he changes that by actually doing something about it and switching schools and working hard on his studies. He becomes the basketball teams secret weapon and keeps on improving. And that’s one of the many themes I saw. In how he went from having a hopeless future to just having a future. And it all started with one choice.