Hoop Dreams & Lottery Ticket Real Estate Sales

“Sure your home will sell. Besides (wink, wink), do you really want some dirty tenant destroying your house and using the would-be rent money to up fit their new meth lab?” (“Aggressive” Charlotte Realtor pushing for a “sale only” listing agreement)

“Everything became pretty clear at that moment. Being a rock star looked like a great job.” (Singer Tom Petty reminiscing about meeting Elvis Presley as an 11-year old)

Hoop Dreams was a documentary based on two Chicago high school students, William Gates and Arthur Agee, who had dreams of playing in the National Basketball Association. They both went to a top Indiana private high school that NBA great Isaiah Thomas had attended, practiced all of the time, and did well in the all-star camps. Their friends told them they were great, school mates looked up to them, and they just knew the NBA was in their futures.

Of course, neither of them made it to the NBA; it’s not a surprise. I think we’ve heard this story a million times. A kid puts all his eggs in the sports basket and is left with no future when it doesn’t pan out. This has fostered the NCAA’s student-athlete model (kids are students first, athletes second); I’m sure you’ve seen the ubiquitous commercials where student-athletes are filmed saying, “I was a NCAA athlete, but upon graduation, I’ll be going pro in something else.” Then it shoots to this early twenty-something teaching tuba to kids or putting on a real estate firm pin (well, maybe not yet, but give the National Association of Realtors time).

I mean, let’s be real. I’d rather be a NBA player than, let’s say, a residential property manager in Charlotte. Wouldn’t you? Let’s see… You get to be a physical specimen (as you basically work out for a living), have adoring fans follow you from town to town, make millions of dollars, decorate your mansion(s) as tackily as you want, and drive a different sports car every day of the month. We could probably make this arrangement work, right? So why wouldn’t we encourage all kids growing up to be a NBA (or WNBA) players? We’ve seen the “Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive, You Can Achieve!” banners hanging in our middle school classrooms. Didn’t we conceive this? Then it should have happened for us, right?

Well, real life took over. We grew up to be five feet six inches tall. Our vertical leaps are barely clearing the jump ropes. We’re getting winded walking to the mailbox. We’re not even the best basketball player in our own families; Mom’s set shot is just impossible to guard
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