Basketball Jones Cover
Basketball Jones

1. In the Prologue, AJ claims that even though he has to keep his relationship secret, he is happy with his choice to do so and he “wouldn’t have it any other way.” Did you believe AJ’s claim at first? Do you think he believed what he told himself? Did his attitude change through the book?

2. In Chapter Six, AJ laments, “Sometimes I don’t know if I chose the life I lead of if it chose me.” How would you answer that question for AJ?

3. Do you know anyone on the “down low?” Why have they not yet come out? How would you react if someone close to you surprised you by admitting he or she was gay?

4. Why do you think the world of athletics is unaccepting of homosexuality? Do think Dray was more concerned about being “outed” to his wife, to his father and family, or to his fans and teammates?

5. Do any of the main characters—AJ, Dray, Jade, Maurice—remind you of people you know in your own life?

6. For whom did you feel more empathy, AJ or Dray? Do you think one of the men had an easier time in his life than the other?

7. Consider the idea of “friendship” in terms of AJ’s friend Maurice. Why was AJ friends with Maurice? Why do some people choose to remain close to someone who isn’t a good friend, or worse, causes them upsetment or harm?

8. “I longed for the days when I had the upper hand and Dray needed me more than I needed him.” Discuss this statement of AJ’s in Chapter Six. Do you think it’s good for a relationship if one member has the “upper hand?”

9. When AJ gets the first of several menacing phone calls that threaten to reveal his secret relationship, he refuses to tell Dray what’s happening. Why do you think he didn’t want Dray to know?

10. Which character did you suspect might be responsible for blackmailing Dray and AJ? When the perpetrator’s identity was revealed, were you surprised?

11. Discuss the book’s ending. Were you wishing that AJ and Dray got back together?

12. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Think about AJ’s grandmother’s wise words from the end of Chapter Twenty-Three. Does AJ take them to heart?