by Randy Ribay
After the Shot Drops is a powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen’s mission to create a better life for his family.
This is an amazing story that is told in alternating chapters in the voices of Bunny and Nasir, who have been best friends forever, but are at odds with each other since Bunny transferred to a private school on a basketball scholarship, and Nasir feels betrayed. Bunny, so called because he has ‘hops’ and is an excellent basketball player tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers and finds it hard to connect to his new surroundings outside of basketball. Meanwhile, with the absence of Bunny, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is not necessarily the best influence for Nasir. Wallace lives with his grandma and facing eviction, he makes some choices that put him in danger and put Nasir in jeopardy too. As Nasir and Bunny begin to rekindle their friendship, Wallace sees it as an opportunity to improve his situation and plays on Nasir’s loyalty to help him discredit Bunny.As the final game nears, Wallace asks Nasir the impossible asking him to risk everything to help Wallace out of a jam. Can Nasir come through, what will it cost him, Bunny, Wallace and their future? Throughout this book, I found myself yelling at the characters as they continually put themselves into difficult situations and made decisions that were not necessarily going to help. Just like at the basketball games, we are spectators in the lives of these characters and can only hope things turn out well in the end.