In the year 1999 at Richmond High School, only 6% of all high school students were enrolled in college in the fall immediately following graduation (Coach Carter). This is the case for Richmond due to the lack of motivation from the students and the faculty. Ken Carter takes the job as the high school basketball coach and vows to change the statistic for his basketball players with a contract to stay on the team. The players did not respect the contract so Carter responded back with cancelled practice and games. Creating chaos in the community, the executive board of the county intervened to end the coach's decision. In Coach Carter's speech to justify his stance to the board, he uses rhetorical appeals and body language to persuade the board not to intervene as he is creating the idea of the American Dream for his basketball players.
The reaching of the American Dream is and has always been a hope of Americans (Choo). The idea has driven the aspirations and hopes of Americans citizens for generation after generation (Ellis and Guettler). The American dream is the promise that all residents of the United States have a reasonable chance to achieve success as they define it through their own efforts and resources, and to attain virtue and fulfillment through that success (Holschild). Coach Carter alludes to this idea of the American Dream into his speech by words of "discipline", "choices", and "honor" (Coach Carter).These three terms are some of the terms that are the backbone to achieve the American Dream. Dalton, author of the article, "Horatio Alger", highlights the fundamentals of the idea where "each of us has the power to create our own opportunities" and "we all have a shot at reaching our true potential" (Dalton). Carter shares the idea that every individual of the team can reach their true potential and to create their own opportunities by his passion and dedication for his basketball team.