Hoop Dreams
Guideposts|Aug/Sept 2023
For the star coach of the hit Netflix show Last Chance U: Basketball, the real winning happens off the court
JIM HINCH
Hoop Dreams

When basketball coach John Mosley got an offer to appear on television, his first thought was: No way. Bad idea.

It was 2019. John, 46 at the time, was head coach of the East Los Angeles College Huskies. East L.A. College educates a diverse student body in a working-class community far from the glitz of Hollywood.

Perennial losers, the Huskies had won just half their games the season before John’s 2012 arrival. Seven years later, they were conference leaders, vying for a regional championship.

The TV offer was for a hit Netflix documentary. Last Chance U spotlights scrappy college sports teams that never get to bask in the glow (or financial windfall) of NCAA glory.

“It was a cold call,” John says. Maybe another coach looking for his big break would have jumped at the chance to star in a television series watched around the world.

John had the opposite reaction. "I was scared," he says. Over decades in an up-and-down basketball career, he'd learned that one of his biggest spiritual challenges was pride. He was afraid he would end up like other Christians who appear on TV, let it go to their head and "start to show cracks in their faith."

He'd worked hard and made sacrifices to become a mentor to players with rough lives but lots of potential. He'd forged relationships, steered kids toward four-year colleges and turned an also-ran team into an engine of athletic and educational upward mobility.

What if he slipped up on national television? Or, worse, became a star and felt tempted to aim higher?

He called back the film crew to be polite. "Yeah, probably not," he said. Then something made him add: "But you could tell me more about it."

This story is from the Aug/Sept 2023 edition of Guideposts.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 9,000+ magazines and newspapers.

This story is from the Aug/Sept 2023 edition of Guideposts.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 9,000+ magazines and newspapers.

MORE STORIES FROM GUIDEPOSTSView All
In the Everyday
Guideposts

In the Everyday

Cooking, cleaning, breaking up the kids’ fights... If only I had a few minutes for myself!

time-read
3 mins  |
June/July 2024
Worst-Case Scenario?
Guideposts

Worst-Case Scenario?

I’d had nagging injuries before and always recovered. Why wasn’t I confident that I would get better this time?

time-read
6 mins  |
June/July 2024
Honor Thy Son
Guideposts

Honor Thy Son

I was a Marine officer, a lifer—or so I thought. Then came Patrick

time-read
7 mins  |
June/July 2024
Keeping It Real
Guideposts

Keeping It Real

In an age of social media, we're experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. Two friends who met online tell you how to grow an authentic connection

time-read
6 mins  |
June/July 2024
What You Wish For
Guideposts

What You Wish For

She never wanted to see her abusive father again

time-read
7 mins  |
June/July 2024
God's Pillow
Guideposts

God's Pillow

In 2016, the Soberanes Fire in Northern California was the costliest ever in the United States. It almost cost me my life, despite the promise I made to my wife

time-read
7 mins  |
June/July 2024
"I Heard You Praying"
Guideposts

"I Heard You Praying"

As a hospital chaplain, I had seen hopeless cases. But never one more seemingly hopeless than this

time-read
5 mins  |
June/July 2024
"I Love You, Dad!"
Guideposts

"I Love You, Dad!"

Some of your favorite GUIDEPOSTS writers share what they learned from their fathers

time-read
6 mins  |
June/July 2024
Harold and Me
Guideposts

Harold and Me

They’re nearly all gone now, the generation we call The Greatest.” This woman’s mission was to honor one of them

time-read
7 mins  |
June/July 2024
The Race Before Her
Guideposts

The Race Before Her

For this Olympic champion, success bred her greatest fear. How five verses set her free

time-read
9 mins  |
June/July 2024