Dream Team
Ilnur Digramov, 17, Ufa



(click on photo to enlarge)



This occasion took place in our school. It was the beginning of a rainy October. At this time our school held basketball gatherings. It was like a casting call. The main players of the team were looking for better players. When they saw me they ignored me, because there were other boys who were stronger and “cooler”. I was new to the team and the main players already knew the others and they had good relations with each other.

One tall boy, Misha, said, “Ilnur, your class is full of losers. There is no use in our watching you play. Just go home.” They didn't allow me on the court.

I said, “Won't you just let me try out for the team?” In the end I was ignored so I went home.

During the next few months, I kept training, and I got better and better. I didn't smoke so my lungs were good, and that helped me to run for a long time without stopping.

In March I received a proposal to join the team, all because I was determined and I didn't quit. During the championship our team showed good results. I became part of the team. All together we were the dream team of the 20th gymnasium! This is my story with a happy ending.


I. Understanding the Story
What is the main lesson in this story?

II. Vocabulary
Complete the sentence with the best word in the list.
gathered    ignored    determination    allow    occasion
1. They didn't ____________________ me to practice with them.
2. The gathering was a/an ______________ for me to try out for the team.
3. We players ___________________ on the basketball court.
4. The “cool” players looked away and _________________ me.
5. I showed _______________________by training for months.

III. Now you Talk
1. Why is it so hard for an outsider to “break into” a team?
2. How is a sports team like a class?
3. What does it mean to be a “dream team”?

IV. Now you Write
1. Write about a “dream team” that you know about.
2. Write a letter of apology from Misha to Ilnur.

V. Role Play
1. The writer and “cool" player: They discuss why he isn't good enough.
2. The writer and coach: The coach encourages him to keep training.
3. Misha and father: They talk about the team ignoring new players.
4. Coach and the writer: They talk after the championship game.
5. The writer and his father: They talk about the team.