Peter O’Daniel 2/11/2010 Full Story Treatment on “The Dream It’s Friday night in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers are hosting the San Antonio Spurs for the season opener in the Staples Center. The music fills the stadium air, as does the smell of delicious popcorn as the fans pile in the stadium to take their seats for the start of the game. The lights dim as the shade of the sparkly floor evaporates into the darkness. “Joooshh Miller,” the announcer shouts as a six‐foot skinny white man bursts onto the court as if this is nothing new to him. The ball is tipped, grabbed by Josh, and the first three pointer of the game is made. “Jossshhh Miller,” the announcer shouts again as Lakers fans jump out of their seats to give a round of applause to a man that has given all he had to reach a dream that most people cannot imagine: The dream of becoming an NBA superstar. Many NBA superstars start out with a tremendous amount of talent and work with it to make themselves an unstoppable force in the game of basketball. Josh Miller, however, was not one of these people. It all started in southern Indiana on an outdoor gravel playground when Josh was just starting the sixth grade. Josh and his father, Mark, would start every morning the same way. They would climb out of bed at around 5:30 am. Josh would put on his baggy Jordan basketball shorts and sag them a little lower as if they weren’t baggy enough, put on his black and white Jordan sneakers and cut‐off t shirt that dropped down to his knees, and top it off with a hooded sweatshirt for the chilly weather. Josh’s father would be standing in the kitchen toasting Pop Tarts right before they took off to start their day. They would arrive at the playground at about 6 am. They would start their morning with a quick jog, then Josh would proceed to attempt shots at the basket while his father rebounded. The shots would appear to be going in right before the ball dropped down and clunked as it hit the rim. After about 20 missed shots, Josh would chuck the ball as far as he could, then sit down Indian style with his head in his lap and cry to himself. One evening Josh’s father decided to take him to a movie. After the movie, while Josh and his father walked back to the car, Josh asked his father why he wasn’t as good as the other kids at basketball. His father responded by telling him that he wasn’t born with the same abilities, but that if he worked harder than everybody else he could eventually be just as good as them. From this point on, everyday, when Josh got out of school Josh’s father would park in front of the tall white pillars that guarded the entrance to Oak Hill Middle School and Josh would be waiting. Josh’s father would then drop him off at Tri‐State Athletic Club, the local gym, and not pick him up until four hours later. Josh started to get really tired of this, telling his father that none of the other kids would let him play because he wasn’t good enough, so Josh’s father would get him a personal basketball trainer.
On Josh’s first day meeting his trainer he was really shy. He walked into Tri‐State that day and as his trainer introduced himself, Josh responded looking at the ground saying, “My names Josh and I’m not very good at basketball.” Josh’s trainer, Troy, then smiled responding, “You’re fine. Lets get you some game.” Josh smiled back and followed him to the basketball court where he would start out shooting free throws and missing most of them as they hit the front of the rim just like on the playground. Josh trained with Troy everyday. He would wake up early, shoot with his father, go to school, and then head to Tri‐State. Everyday would be a struggle but everyday Josh would watch himself get better. Then it came time for school basketball tryouts. Josh walked into try‐outs looking at the ground with an unconfident posture not believing in his abilities at all. The next day, Josh would go to the coach’s office glance at the roster only to see that he wasn’t on it. Josh then proceeded to put his head down, and walk to his father’s car to go to Tri‐State to work on his game. Not making this team would in turn only make Josh work harder. Another year passed by and he was cut once again, but this would not faze Josh. He went to the front of the school, hopped his father’s car, and walked right back into Tri‐State to meet Troy. The next year, same thing, Josh got cut but only worked harder. Then it came time for high school. At this time, Josh’s father even doubted whether Josh would ever be any good. However, the table’s had turned and Josh wouldn’t give up for anybody. Josh walked into try‐outs his freshman year, dusted off the bottoms of his Nike’s, walked onto the shiny basketball court, grabbed a ball off the rack, and walked onto the court as if he owned it. As soon as the coach blew the whistle, all of the kids trying out rushed to the baseline to start sprints. Josh won every race. The coach once again blew the whistle. Now it was time to play. Josh grabbed the ball, checked it up with the opposing team, and started to battle. First shot, Josh swishes a 3. Second shot, Josh drives the lain for an aggressive layup. Some of his teammates then score, and the game is over. Josh’s team wins. Try‐outs then end and everybody goes home. The next day at school, all of the kids that tried out rush to the coach’s office to check whether they made the team. Josh, walking towards the office as if he already made the team, looks at the roster and notices that his name was left off of it. Josh then makes his way to a nearby bleacher, with his hand in his lap, and begins to cry. He stays seated on this bleacher all day as he misses every class. When he returns home for the day he throws a dinner plate at the wall with tears streaming down his face saying, “Hard work doesn’t do shit.” He then goes to his room and falls asleep. The next day, Josh doesn’t eat and doesn’t go to school. He does, however, go back to Tri‐State. He gets to Tri‐State and starts running suicides while panting and sweating excessively. Josh grabs a ball and shoots over and over as the hours of the day pass by. He then goes to Troy’s office and tells him that he wants to train twice a day. Then goes home to eat dinner and goes to bed. Josh starts the days ahead the same way. He wakes up early, shoots at the park, goes to school, plays basketball, does some homework, and goes to bed. It’s time for
sophomore try‐outs. When Josh arrives at school this day he walks to his classes, then hustles down the long hallway to the gym. When he arrives he laces up his Nike basketball shoes, steps onto the court, and doesn’t miss a shot. The first play, Josh steels the ball on a break away, runs towards the basket, jumps into flight, and dunks on the best player on the team. After try‐outs the coach tells him that he’s on the team. Now that Josh is on the team, he only works harder. He gets to the school gym before school, shoots with the team manager for about an hour, goes to classes, and goes to practice. When Josh gets to practice he makes sure to stretch his legs out, sprints up and down the court a few times, and practices his shot as he focuses his form. When the first game comes, Josh is more ready than he’s ever been. He’s got his shoes laced tight and his uniform tucked in he leads the team out onto the court to get into layup lines. Josh puts in a couple of dunks then takes his place on the court for the tip. The ball is then tipped as Josh grabs it from midair. He dribbles down the court and assists his teammate with an alley‐oop for the slam‐dunk. Josh makes a couple more shots and his team wins 65‐42. Everyday Josh is hustling into huddles to communicate with his teammates, giving his best effort to compete, and playing as a team. This continues throughout Josh’s junior year. By Josh’s senior year he is unstoppable. His first game he comes out in a sparkling white jersey, dribbling through his legs as he attempts to drive the lain on Larry Bird, the next best player in southern Indiana, and before Larry can even see him make a move Josh is already at the rim and it’s a dunk for the win. Josh’s next game doesn’t go so smoothly. In the middle of the game vs. St. Charles High Josh goes up for a rebound, and comes down on his knees as he gets tripped by an opponent. Josh is out for good. To everyone’s surprise, however, Josh is back for the next game. He comes out limping terribly as he can’t even get off of the ground for his first jump shot. Then something magnificent happens. Josh gets a steal on defense, hustles as hard as he can as if nothing matters but scoring the ball. Josh then jumps into the air and scores his second game winning dunk for the season. The season continues until Josh meets with Larry’s team for the state championship. It’s Conseco Field House in Indianapolis for the men’s high school basketball state championship. All of the biggest college and NBA recruits are in the stands to watch exactly how far Josh can take his game. The ball is tipped. Josh steals it from the other team and the mayhem starts. A couple of dunks and 3 point shots from Josh go by, but Larry’s team is holding on. This all ends in the second half, however, when Josh takes off and shows the recruits what they came to see. Josh get steal after steal and shot after shot. Southern High wins by 15. After high school Josh would go on to become the 20th draft pick in the 1978 NBA Draft along with Larry Bird. His first game in the NBA, Josh would have 35 points and break the record for a rookies first game in the NBA.
Ext. North Side Basketball Park – Morning 1 JOSH MILLER looking at the ground, and hiding behind his father, MARK, because he is shy, walks out to the basketball court to shoot. When he picks up the ball he dribbles it off of his foot His father then runs after the ball to save it from hitting a puddle. Mark then bounce passes it back to Josh. Josh then raises his elbows to shoot, with a chicken wing look, and throws the ball towards the basket and air balls it terribly. He then runs over towards the fence putting his head in his lap with tears streaming down his cheeks. JOSH MILLER But dad I don’t want to go out here. The other kids will make fun of me. They think I suck at basketball. MARK MILLER Well if you never come out here how are you going to get any better at basketball? JOSH MILLER I don’t care about being better right now. I just want to go to school. MARK MILLER Come on Josh let’s shoot a little bit. If you practice your shot and get better the kids will stop making fun of you. JOSH MILLER Yeah I guess that’s true. Pass me the ball (Josh starts to dribble bouncing it off of his foot). See I told you I’m not good. I want to leave. MARK MILLER Let’s try some shooting. I think that’s your strong suit (Father passes ball to Josh and he air balls it). JOSH MILLER I’m never going to be any good (crying). I suck so bad and I have no friends.
Ext. Showplace Cinemas Parking Lot – Evening 2 JOSH MILLER is walking out of the movie theatre with his father in the dark, musky evening. Josh begins to look very emotional before tears stream down his face and asks his dad why he isn’t as good at basketball as everybody else in school. Josh’s father hugs him letting his son know that it takes hard work to be good at something and all one’s effort to be great.
JOSH MILLER Why can’t I be as good at basketball like everybody else at school? MARK MILLER Everybody is blessed with different things Josh. You were born with a loving family and a nice home to live in. Other people are blessed with tremendous athletic ability. JOSH MILLER Yeah but dad all I want in life is to be the best basketball player. MARK MILLER You say that now, but when your older you will value other things like your family and your children. There’s a lot more to life than basketball and you will learn that as you get older. JOSH MILLER Yeah but that’s all I care about right now and I don’t know how to get better. I feel like I work hard in my leagues. MARK MILLER To be really good at something you have to practice everyday. If you practiced basketball everyday I bet you would be just as good as all your friends. If all you do is practice for your teams your never going to get any better because that is what everybody is doing. JOSH MILLER Everyday? That’s unrealistic. MARK MILLER Not if you want to be a great basketball player. That’s what it takes. All of the great players not only worked at their game everyday, but they had a ton of natural talent, which you do not. JOSH MILLER OK, I’ll go to the gym more often.
Int. Southern High School Basketball Gym – Day
The shiny basketball court sits alone right before the bell rings and all of the jocks awaiting tryouts finally get their chance to be apart of the Southern High basketball team. Everybody runs into the locker room to put on their shorts and lace up their shoes in hope to make such a great basketball team. When the players arrive on the court the coach immediately blows the whistle and directs the players to the baseline to run sprint. JOSH MILLER is the first one to finish the last lap, and doesn’t stop his effort as they start to play a basketball game. Josh runs up and down the court stealing pass after pass making basket after basket.
JOSH MILLER So I heard these a lot of people are trying out this year?
JOHNNY BONES (another kid trying out) Yeah I’m not sweating it. I made it last year and I haven’t gotten any worse. Why? You worried? JOSH MILLER Not really. I’ve been working my ass off. I’m not like I was back in middle school. You’ll see.
JOHNNY BONES Well I guess we’ll see. I did here that you’ve been practicing at Tri‐State like everyday. JOSH MILLER Well I’m going out to the court to shoot around a little bit. See you out there. COACH MAVERICH Alright, listen up everybody. It’s time to get the show on the road. Get on the baseline and run a couple suicides. JOHNNY BONES This is going to suck man. JOSH MILLER Quit being a pussy bro.
Int. Conseco Fieldhouse ‐ Evening
The Southern High School bus pulls up to Conseco Fieldhouse with all of the players pumping each other up for the first state championship any of them had ever played for. The player’s walks off the bus with they’re warm up uniforms swaying in the wind and smiles of winners. When they get into the stadium they start to warm up then it’s time to play. The tip goes up, and the other team grabs the ball. Josh then comes in with the steal and finishes with a spectacular slam‐dunk. The dunking continues and the shooting takes over. Southern High School wins by 15. MARK MILLER What ever you do tonight son don’t give up. There are a lot of scouts out there that think you are a great player. Everyday of sweat and blood that you have given up was given up for this night. This is your chance to shine. JOSH MILLER Well thanks dad. You’ve always been there for me. From the playground where I couldn’t make a lay up to Conseco where I’ll be dunking on some of the best players in the game you’ve been more than my father but my best friend. MARK MILLER I just want you to go out there and have fun. That’s what you’ve always done and that’s what got you here. COACH MAVERICH Alright boy’s, tonight is the night we’ve all been working so damn hard. We’ve done well until this point. Let’s not fuck anything up. ANNOUNCER Ladies and gentlemen, for the start of the game number 44 Jooossshhhhh Milller!!!! JOSH MILLER I’ve waited all my life for this I can’t believe the time has finally came.
Good luck son
Int. Staples Center – Evening
It’s Friday night in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers are hosting the San Antonio Spurs for the season opener in the Staples Center. The music fills the stadium air, as does the smell of delicious popcorn as the fans pile in the stadium to take their seats for the start of the game. The lights dim as the shade of the sparkly floor evaporates into the darkness. “Joooshh Miller,” the announcer shouts as a six‐foot skinny white man bursts onto the court as if this is nothing new to him. The ball is tipped, grabbed by Josh, and the first three pointer of the game is made. “Jossshhh Miller,” the announcer shouts again as Lakers fans jump out of their seats to give a round of applause to a man that has given all he had to reach a dream that most people cannot imagine: The dream of becoming an NBA superstar. JOSH MILLER Wow this is a lot different from high school. There are so many people out there. KAREEM ABDUL‐JABAR Yeah you get used to it. It shouldn’t be to hard for you. You’re a fun player to watch. Just go out there and did what you did in high school. JOSH MILLER Thanks a lot Kareem. That means a lot coming from you.
COACH JERRY WEST Hurry up Josh. Warm up a little bit. It’s Showtime!! JOSH MILLER I can’t believe I finally made it to the NBA. This is crazy.
KAREEM ABDUL‐JABAR It’s a really lucky opportunity that most people that work extremely hard will never reach. You’re a lucky kid. JOSH MILLER Well let’s put on a show.
Postmortem/Reflection on “The Dream”
When creating this story I first wanted to write about something that I could
relate to. Basketball, having been one of my passions since my father introduced it to me in the sixth grade, was something that was always way more than a game to me. It became a goal of mine to become the best basketball player I could possibly be. The NBA was always the highest goal. It was a goal that was so far for me, but it seemed so close when I worked at it everyday. I truly believed that if I practiced enough I could make it to the most elite league in the sport of basketball. When I wrote this story I wanted to capture every level of basketball and how competitive Josh was at each level, and also the struggles at each level. I began the story with a glimpse to the future where Josh had reached his highest goal, and was at the happiest point of his basketball career. Then I flashed back to the beginning of his basketball career when he was the worst and didn’t know what it took to get better. I then took the audience through the different parts of Josh’s basketball life. As Josh got better I wanted the audience to feel more excited, but when Josh failed I wanted to the audience to feel sorry for him. This story is supposed to be an emotional rollercoaster. When Josh starts to train with Troy I wanted the audience to feel how hard he was training to be that much better at basketball, and as he went to tryouts I wanted the audience to see how the training was paying off. There were a lot of obstacles, but no matter what Josh kept fighting to be the best. When Josh’s father, Mark, talked to him I wanted the audience to feel the emotion between Josh and his father and how his father only wanted the best for
him. No matter what Josh’s father was always behind him whether he it was during his toughest times when he wanted to give up the game of basketball or his happiest times when he eventually made it to the highest level of basketball. Through thick and through thin Josh’s dad was always there for him.
When Josh got to high school and walked onto the court as if “he owned the
gym” I wanted the audience to get a sense of his swagger or cockiness as he got better with training. Since he was young and still childish he didn’t make the team his freshman year. As time went on, however, Josh matured and with maturity Josh became a better and smarter player. He slowly climbed the ladder of the team until he was the leader and when he was the leader he lead his team to the state championship for the first time in his school’s history.
When Josh arrived at Conseco for the state championship I tried to show his
happiness from achieving a goal that at one time may have seemed impossible, but I still leave room for the passion that he has for the game when he makes it to the NBA. I also wanted to give a glimpse of the hard work and hustle that Josh shows in the state championship as he fights towards a win with every possession of the basketball game.
In the end, I wanted to show once again the ultimate victory, which was Josh
making to his ultimate goal, the NBA. I wanted the audience to feel the excitement of being in an NBA stadium as a player for the first time.
Ultimately, this is a story about a young boy with a dream who, through hard
work and determination and the help of family and friends, conquers his ultimate goal. This story shows that nothing great comes to anybody who doesn’t work hard
for it, and that achieving one’s ultimate goal is the greatest feeling a person can have.