Augustin Tronou is a high school basketball player from Chicago with aspirations of getting a college basketball scholarship so that he can get a college education without the financial burden. “Basketball is my passion but you’ve got to go to school. If you don’t go to school, you can’t be successful,” he said. “Some people try to define me through basketball. It’s not who I am. It’s what I do. I’m just a young man trying to make something out of nothing.” Here, Augustin goes up for a dunk at Loyola Park in Chicago.
Augustin celebrates after Uplift High School beat Simeon Career Academy in an NBU Fall Exposure League game. The game served as a measuring stick of how good the team was because Simeon is the four-time reigning state champion and is considered a contender for the upcoming season. “We beat [2013 city champion] Morgan Park. We beat Simeon. Little by little, our name is getting out there,” he said. “If we keep winning, that’s going to help us [get recruited].”
Uplift High School coach David Taylor speaks with Augustin after a game in which he received a technical foul. Augustin’s parents are not actively involved in parenting him and have never watched him play a basketball game so Taylor has served as a mentor and father-figure. Augustin said that the void left that his parents not being interested in helping him nurture his passion for basketball doesn’t bother him. “I have my brother and my coaches. They are the small pieces that help fill that in.”
Augustin and his high school teammates ride the bus to a game in Mundelein, Ill.
In a Morton Grove, Ill. apartment complex, Augustin gets a tattoo that reads “Family First.”
Augustin speaks with his mother Dede Agnimou in their Rogers Park apartment. They usually speak in French because that is the language Augustin learned as a child Togo. The family immigrated when in 2002 when Augustin was 7. Neither of his parents have seen him play basketball.
Augustin hands in his phone to before his teachers begin proctoring the ACT, a standardized test measuring college readiness on a scale from 1 to 36. Augustin needs to score an 18 in order to be eligible for a division one basketball scholarship. On this occasion, he scored a “Steve Nash,” or 13, which is the number NBA player Steve Nash wore with the Phoenix Suns. He plans to take it again.
After getting arrested for robbery on July 15, Augustin started attending church on a regular basis after missing more than a year.
Augustin shakes hands with a friend at a Fourth of July hotel party that he co-hosted in downtown Chicago.
Augustin approaches the entrance of Cook Country Courthouse in Chicago for a preliminary hearing on his trial stemming from a July 15 arrest for robbery. He and his lawyer reached a deal with the city of Chicago and he received probation.
Augustin holds a basketball and listens to his team leader during orientation for his job at Greencorps Chicago, a job training program through the city of Chicago. Part of the orientation took place in the outdoor playground attached to Alternatives, a youth development center in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
After Augustin scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a game at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, Kennedy-King Junior College Head Coach Robert Holloway asked to meet with him. The coach expressed interest in having Augustin learn more about the Kennedy-King basketball program and invited him to attend a game.