The Basketball Diaries


Although I watched the movie two nights ago, I can’t stop thinking about it! Both Leonardo Di Caprio and Mark Wahlberg were very young in this drama. The Basketball Diaries made its debut in 1995. Fortunately, I finally got to watch it 21 years later. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! I’m not really sure why it had a few bad reviews online because I thought it was a very good film. It kept me thinking about a lot of issues. My cousin that passed away last year enjoyed this movie a lot. If you were following me around this time last year, you might remember me blogging about my cousin’s death. I still haven’t brought myself to write more about her death/drug overdose these days. I did some research on heroin use for months but the piece still hasn’t happened. One day I will be able to openly blog about it. I’m not sure when but I promise it will happen someday.

I think this is a pretty good movie to watch with teenagers who are in high school. It’s a good icebreaker especially if you’re talking to them about the dangers of using Cocaine and Heroin. The movie is based on a true story by Jim Carroll. Carroll was a star high school basketball player at the private Catholic school in New York City. Throughout his life, Carroll was also a writer and poet. His book, The Basketball Diaries, is based on his own drug and sexual experiences as a teenager. Carroll began using heroin at 13 years old. Although his book was published in 1978, the movie takes place in the 90’s. Colleges were interested in recruiting him on their teams. His life began to change when he gets hooked on drugs. He starts getting into trouble. In order to support his drug habit, he takes part in robberies and prostitution with three of his friends.

The movie made me emotional on several occasions, especially when his mother eventually kicks him out of her apartment. I think the most emotional part of the movie is when he eventually comes back to his mother’s apartment. He begs her to let him into the apartment and give him money. His mother calls the cops. He ends up in jail for months. After he gets out of jail, he begins writing and educating others about drug addiction. Carroll struggled with addiction throughout most of his life. He passed away on September 11, 2009 from a heart attack. He was well-known for his writing and music performances.


  1. Can you believe I haven’t seen this gem of a movie either?! I have heard so many great things especially about the actor performances so I should watch it for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes he’s in it ( Mark Wahlberg) but he looks kind of different. Hopefully you get to watch it soon. I’m interested in reading the book now! I’m going to look for it on Amazon today.

    Liked by 2 people

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