I don’t watch many shows when it comes to television or Netflix. If I’m not watching sports on tv, I’m usually playing video games or watching twitch streams. But one show that I really got into over quarantine was Last Chance U. Whether it was Buddy Stephens at East Mississippi or Jason Brown at Independence, I found myself getting hooked on the show. Netflix came out with their first basketball season the other day and naturally, I went through the whole season in a day. I wasn’t feeling well on Wednesday, so I went home from work and decided to watch the season. After watching the entire season, I have some thoughts.
I Would Run Through A Wall For John Mosley
— Last Chance U: Basketball (@LastChanceU) March 7, 2021
John Mosley is the colorful head coach for the East Los Angeles College Huskies. This is a guy that gave up coaching at the Division I level to go the junior college route to be with his family. Respect to him for that! Mosley’s reputation was a good coach, but not a great one yet because he hadn’t won state. But let me tell you this, I’d want John Mosley as my basketball coach.
He cares. There’s no other way to describe it. When he got frustrated after a game in the 5th episode because he felt his team didn’t care, I felt that as a coach. All of the sacrifices he makes when he was missing his children’s games to help get his players scholarships? It takes a special type of person to do that. If you care that much about your players and the game you love, give me that guy 10 out of 10 times!
My Favorite Player: Deshaun Highler
Introducing East LA College's guard, #11, Deshaun Highler. pic.twitter.com/zpYQvF9wS6
— Last Chance U: Basketball (@LastChanceU) March 9, 2021
Deshaun Highler is the premier guard shown throughout the season. Highler was the definitive leader and he knew what he was doing. He was a guy that can bring people together. Did he get a little much toward the end of the season with some of his comments? Sure. But that was pure frustration. I mean, think about his story and everything that happened.
His mom dies of cancer and his dad passed all within a short time span. He was basically on his own as a very young man. Highler had to grow up quick. Not to mention dealing with paying for an apartment with a girlfriend, going to school, and never properly dealing with his mom’s death! I think a lot of that comes into play when you see Deshaun get frustrated toward the end. But overall, he was a fantastic leader and player for that East LA squad.
I Would’ve Liked To See More Of Malik Muhammad and KJ Allen
Meet KJ, a gift straight from the basketball gods. pic.twitter.com/iTYXybZ4EL
— Last Chance U: Basketball (@LastChanceU) March 10, 2021
Introducing Malik Muhammad, #33 of the ELAC Huskies. pic.twitter.com/NEtJEVTN27
— Last Chance U: Basketball (@LastChanceU) March 6, 2021
Malik Muhammad and Kealen “KJ” Allen were two vital parts for the Huskies.
Muhammad was always portrayed as soft and not playing hard at all times. The guy was 6’9 and could’ve dominated every part of the game. There were some instances where he blocked everything in sight. There were others that he looked like he just wasn’t into the game mentally. Malik Muhammad ends up committing to Central Michigan. But I feel like they could’ve highlighted him a bit more. Sure, he had a brief moment where they go back to his childhood and such. But it seems like the show could’ve focused on him much more.
Allen was the humble and smiling player that was explosive as ever. Every episodes it seemed like he had at least three unreal dunks in a game. He ends up committing to USC, but it seems like he was somewhat overlooked in the season. Granted, Allen was a bit different in terms of demeanor. But hey, we all can’t be the same person, right?
At The End, Joe Hampton Turned It Around
Hailing from East LA College, #42… Joe Hampton! pic.twitter.com/wgRj0PvGiX
— Last Chance U: Basketball (@LastChanceU) March 8, 2021
Joe Hampton is a little older, but has a unique story. I was shocked to see he went to Oak Hill. Oak Hill is a POWERHOUSE high school basketball program nationwide. After Oak Hill, Joe ends up at Penn State and things don’t work out well. He had some rough patches, including a stint in jail. A week after getting out of jail? He’s at East LA trying out for the basketball team.
I’m not going to lie here, I wasn’t a Joe Hampton fan for the first half of the season. He seemed like the selfish, arrogant player that just wanted everything to go his way. There’s even the montage at the very beginning of the first episode where Joe throws a temper tantrum. But within the last few episodes, Joe becomes more of a likable teammate and matures when things don’t go his way. After 4 years away from DI, Joe ends up at Long Beach State. Maybe he’ll be in the league soon!
East LA Got Hosed By COVID
With COVID coming right in March, East LA missed out on going to the state tournament. That’s such a crushing blow to the end of an entertaining season. They were rolling with only one loss early in the season. I wish they would’ve played just to see if John Mosley would finally win state. But it wasn’t meant to be!
This season of Last Chance U is worth the watch. You’re not going to get the cussing from the coach like with Stephens or Brown. But you get a great story of junior college basketball in California.
Final Ranking: 8.2/10
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)