The Crossover

by

Kwame Alexander

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The Backboard Symbol Icon

When Dad ends up in the hospital, Josh angrily tells Mom that he's upset "because our backboard is splintered." In doing so, he draws a direct connection between the backboard on a basketball hoop--which keeps missed shots from going out of bounds and can be used to bounce the ball off of to make baskets--and to Dad, who performs a similar function in the Bell family. Like a backboard, Dad keeps Josh and JB in line and constantly points them in the direction of success.

The Backboard Quotes in The Crossover

The The Crossover quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Backboard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Crossover published in 2014.
Fourth Quarter Quotes

Because the only thing that matters is swish.
Because our backboard is splintered.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), Dad, JB, Mom
Related Symbols: The Backboard
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Crossover LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Crossover PDF

The Backboard Symbol Timeline in The Crossover

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Backboard appears in The Crossover. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Fourth Quarter
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...wouldn't have gotten the ball and ended up in the hospital. He says that their backboard is splintered. (full context)
Overtime
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...and then fishes the ball from where it's stuck, wedged between the rim and the backboard. He knows that this means JB has been trying and failing to dunk. Josh dribbles... (full context)