The last installment of Ja Morant is “The Big Match” and it picks up after where we left off in the first book, “A Long Time Coming”. It's about time for our old friend, Simon to deal with some adult problems and he calls his old friend, Jenny. Things go bad and the match ends abruptly when Jenny is kidnapped by a rival gang.
Simon takes a leave of absence and doesn't return for a few weeks, but when he does come back, he's a changed man. He realizes that he needs to get involved in his local town's reconstruction, and goes in as a volunteer with the local basketball team. He makes a lot of friends and rebounds with ease, earning a spot on the All-Star team along the way.
But when Simon gets injured and can no longer play, Jaques comes to his rescue. The two become fast friends, and Jaques knows that Simon needs all the help he can get to be the best coach he can be. He assigns Jaques to be head coach, to help him keep everyone focused on the goals that he has for the team. Jaques also develops his own personal philosophy of coaching, which helps to make him a better head coach. “The Big Match” really showcases what makes Jaques likable as a coach and as a person, which is evident in this book.
Jaques has been doing well at the job of leading the team, so much so that he deserves a raise for being a good head coach. But as fans begin to doubt how well he is handling the job, he decides to take a sabbatical. When he returns, he is fired immediately, so he goes on a search for an organization that will hire him and give him a head coach position. It takes him a while, but he finds it. He ends up with a job as an assistant coach under Gene Keadle, but he never gets the chance to prove himself to be anything more than a backup.
After failing to impress the management in the first two games, Jaques is finally given a chance to redeem himself against the formidable Oregon State University team. During this match, he leads the team to an upset victory, earning himself more respect among the fans and the media. With this success, Jaques proves that he is a good leader and the fans are willing to bet on him and his team during every game.
Oregon State was not a bad opponent for Jaques, but he got out maneuvered by them during game two. In the second game, Jaques took over and led the team to a double sweep. He displayed a great deal of confidence and inspired the fans to trust him. He guided his team to a convincing victory against the rival University and earned himself a reputation as a true Coach of the Game.
Jaques started off the season strong with a convincing win over Arizona State University, earning himself a lot of confidence. The next game, he got himself a double-game winning streak, beating Oregon in the first two games and then crushing Texas Southern in the finale. This was huge for Jaques and the other seniors on the team, as they had all worked so hard to earn the win. It showed how much each one individually had grown during the course of the season. The seniors were now more mature and ready to face adversity and show the fans what they are made of. This helped the team to rise above their past performances, which helped them become one of the best teams in the country.
The game ended on a high note with a spectacular last minute jumper to tie the game at twenty-two points. This helped the team to a victory and put them in the top spot in the National Rankings. This would set the stage for a very good season and a trip to the NCAA Championship. The hard work and effort of the seniors and the recruits paid off in full form in the national championship game against eventual champions Kentucky.