Last Chance U: A Look at Junior College

by May 27, 20210 comments

The Netflix series “Last Chance U” has run for five seasons now, documenting the trials and triumphs of junior college football teams from around the USA. The drama in the series is often based around the nature of these athletes’ careers. They were often highly recruited athletes who were unable to follow through on their original plans. The reason for these students’ predicaments are diverse and multi-faceted. There is a feeling of constant pressure to deliver, as the students realize that this may well be their “last chance” to succeed as an athlete.

With a Basketball Twist

Last Chance U has recently released a season focusing away from football. It chose instead to follow the basketball team of East Los Angeles College (ELAC), a junior college in California. This series is an excellent example of how junior or community college can benefit an athlete. Although the series is an extreme instance of how talented players come to participate at junior college level, there are lessons that we can learn from watching the season.

The season opens by introducing us to the characters that we will come to know over the course of the season. ELAC, our setting, was a faltering basketball program. However, coach John Mosley has pulled it out of its slump and turned it into a perennial contender. The coach himself is an absolute force of nature. Mosley mixes inspiration and punishment masterfully throughout the series, pushing his players while providing mentorship to them.

Junior College Sport Stars

It is these players who provide the show with all of its intrigue. Many of them were star high school players, recruited by top programs around the country. However, some failed to meet the necessary academic standards to play in the NCAA; some failed out of college. Others were unable to afford tuition at a top school, while others still faced disciplinary issues that caused problems in their recruiting. These stars are joined by students who are at ELAC because they couldn’t afford to go to college elsewhere, or because they couldn’t get into a four-year college due to their academics.

While the story of potential stars like LJ Ziegler, Malik Muhammad, and KJ Allen – the top players on the team – are exciting to watch, it is also thrilling and rewarding to see players whose ambitions are not as high as the stars aim at their own opportunities after junior college. Most of the other players are simply trying to earn a scholarship to a four-year institution.

Last Chance U: Basketball. c. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

The JuCo to College Journey

This journey from a junior college to a four-year university is one that we have seen many Aspire Atlantic students make. The decision to go to a two-year college can be made for many reasons – academic, sporting, or financial, to name just a few – but it does not mean your opportunity to go to a big program is gone. In fact, in some cases, it might even be easier to transfer in than to start as a freshman. Playing at a junior college can give you the opportunity to compete straight away, instead of sitting on the bench. This lets you show bigger programs what you can do, giving them the opportunity to see you in action.

This is on full display in Last Chance U. Coach Mosley’s tireless efforts author excellent season after excellent season, making the playoffs each year. This gives his players the platform to showcase their talents to big programs. This kind of exposure is difficult to find at a program where a freshman might not start. As you might expect, one of the most compelling parts of Last Chance U is the players’ search for offers at colleges they feel are worthy of their talents.

The East LA College Huskies in episode 1 “The Window” of Last Chance U: Basketball: Season 1. c. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

A Good Perspective on College Sports

Overall, the season builds towards a thrilling but unexpected climax. It shows prospective athletes the benefits of choosing a junior college for the first two years of their college career. However, it also displays the effort needed to make the situation work in your favour. Any student who is looking to study and play in the USA should watch the series as an indicator of how seriously colleges in America take sport. As an added bonus, it is fun and exciting, and the sport sequences will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Remember, it’s always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!


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