When Zoey becomes a tutor to the school’s star basketball player, she sees some of the key issues college athletes have to deal with. Full recap of “Starboy” by @luvthispayne.
What’s up y’all. If you’re reading this from anywhere in the South, then like me you’re probably enjoying another snow day. I was super well rested by the time the show aired last night thanks to my mid afternoon snow day naps. Good thing, I was rested because in this episode, #grownish took on the NCAA, double standards in the LGBTQ community, and pressures of campus life. Let’s get into it.
The last time we saw Zoey she was swearing off dudes and vowing to focus more on her friends and studying. But before she could put a period at the end of that sentence she meets Cash Mooney, the campus five Star basketball recruit. Cash needs a little help passing some classes and Zoey has signed up to be a tutor through a program with Dean Parker. Part of the deal though is that Zoey must complete the tutorial program so that she can receive a coveted letter of recommendation from Dean Parker for the Teen Vogue internship that she wants.
Alright so BOOM this seems easy enough except, Cash is fine, like really really fine and he might have a little more than tutoring on his mind. Zoey, for once, is trying really hard not to get distracted by all his chocolatey fineness. Cash makes this a lot easier when he shows up over an hour late for their first study session.
Zoey is super over it! I mean I don’t blame her. Who the hell does he think he is? Over an hour late? Sis is good for even waiting that long. I would’ve left and told his ass to get a tutor is time telling too. But Zoey is clearly nicer than me and as she’s leaving, she sees Mr. Bigshot and he blames his tardiness on basketball practice. Zoey reluctantly agrees to still tutor him, but it’s mostly because she needs that letter of rec from Dean Parker and partly because his smile is kind of incredible! Did I mention Cash is fine? Chocolatey and fine. Okay. I’m done. Look. At. Him. Ummm.
As they begin their first study session, Zoey and Cash discuss just how different college seems to be. They actually have a lot in common, like back in high school they both were big shit on campus and now they’re little fish in big ponds. At least Cash is an athlete and has that going for him. All Zoey has is being nicknamed Cup Bitch. Damn. I really hope she gets a new nickname soon.
As they are chit chatting and sharing collegiate war stories, Aaron’s fine self comes walking over and before Zoey has a chance to say anything to him, Cash jumps up and tells him that it’s not a good time for a selfie.
I really collapsed into a puddle. The embarrassment on Aaron’s face was priceless. Listen, no one has time for these back and forth bald headed games that Aaron has been playing. Nobody *Keith Sweat voice* Zo-Zo is eating it up lol Cash slick dissing Aaron is the stuff dreams are made of. Flex Zoey!
There’s a basketball game later that night and everyone heads to a local bar to catch it. We find Nomi on a date with a cute little chick and while they’re attempting to order a drink, a man intervenes offering to buy. Nomi has to repeatedly decline his offer and this leads to a discussion between her and her date about Bi-sexuality. Her rude ass date insists that Nomi’s bisexuality is a phase and that it’s a result of her just “playing lesbian.” LesbiHONEST her date wasn’t that cute anyway. Bye ashy. She has the right one today because as she’s walking away Nomi promptly reminds her that it’s lgBtq and that she needs to respect the B, bitch.
It kinda works in Nomi’s favor because then she gets to take that fine gentleman up on his offer to buy her a drink and we see a new flame blossoming.
Everyone else is gathering at the bar as well to catch the game and the gang’s all here. Zoey, Ana, Vivek, The Twins, Aaron and Nomi. They’re all watching and it doesn’t seem like Cash is doing so well. He seems to be a little off his game and everyone has something to say about it. First, Ana takes time to remind us that she’s a damn republican and mentions how she doesn’t feel bad at all for Cash because her parents have to pay for her education meanwhile he gets paid to attend college “just for being able to shoot a ball in a net.” I wanted to kick her barstool from under her.
Thank God though, the twins and Zoey are there to set the record straight. Outside of having to maintain their actual classes, they have practice, conditioning, games, weight training, film and so on. All of this and they are not paid ONE DAMN DIME! As if that’s not bad enough, not only are they not paid a damn penny but the damn University makes a KILLING off of their labor by way of tickets, merchandise and boosters. What’s even more disheartening is that only about 1% of college athletes will even go pro. So Ana and everyone else can miss me with the whole college athletes are paid argument because it’s bullshit.
After this quick masterclass, Ana shuts the hell up. That doesn’t stop Aaron from being a hating ass hater though, but we all know it’s because he’s lowkey jealous of Cash for getting to spend so much time with Zoey. Green is not your color boo!
On campus everybody and their mama is talking shit about how much of a bust drafting Cash was. They’ve made shirts to mock him on and naturally Cash decides to check out. Feeling like he’s one big joke, Cash no longer cares about passing his classes or anything else other than trying to endure the emabarrasment. Zoey is Rainbow Johnson’s child and she musters up a pep talk like no other. Zoey has to remind Cash that he’s more than just a basketball player and his worth is not solely found in how well he plays. She reminds him that his talents extend beyond the court and encourages him to find a new passion/dream. Zoey basically tells Cash:
Sadly though, Zoey is the only one with any hope left in Cash. It’s so bad that Dean Parker tells Zoey she’s no longer even required to tutor him. The boosters and staff have decided to redirect their energy into a football player that they think is more deserving of the support and who will yield a better payout. But even with her letter secured, Zoey is not quite ready to give up on Cash. After all he hadn’t even taken his midterm yet.
Back at the bar to watch another Cal U game and one of Cal U’s top players gets hurt which means second string Cash has to go in. Yikes. Everyone is cringing and it’s so bad when he first gets into the game. In fact it’s so bad, that Zoey can’t even watch and heads back to her dorm room. Before she heads back to her room though Nomi shows up with new Bae and everyone is telling her that he’s a keeper because bruh knew exactly what to do when Nomi was hungover. She casually mentions that she was only able to hook up with him after ole girl accused her of not really being bisexual. Nomi’s new man chimes in that that’s totally bullshit because he’s bisexual and used to mess with men so he knows bisexuality is totally a thing and that doesn’t make him gay.
Everyone is all:
Back to Zoey who’s on her way back to her room when she hears all the ugly things people are saying about Cash and she realizes just how much pressure college athletes are under. But something crazy happens as she’s having an epiphany. Ana grabs her and tells her to come see a quick replay of the game. Apparently, Cash hits his stride and manages to have a historic performance and help them win the game. During the post game interview, the reporter is asking Cash what changed in this game and of course like any well coached athlete he mentions his teammates but then he says he also appreciates the people that never gave up on him and gives a shout out to his curly head cup bitch!!!
Listen. I swooned so hard and I know Zoey was feeling herself. I felt giddy for her. Like he fully shouted her out and I just stan for them as a thing now!!! The next day in class and a Zoey is feeling A-1 because Cash had a breakthrough and she’s hopeful that he’s believing in himself as much as she believes in him. She just knows he’s going to be ready to conquer this midterm. But surprise surprise it’s not Cash that’s come to take his midterm. Apparently, they have someone to take it for him. Zoey is like wuttice dis? She’s pissed and disappointed but Cash lets her know this is just one of the perks of being good now.
Shit. Zoey, while upset, she cannot spend her time dwelling on just how disappointed she feels because Sis has a Teen Vogue internship she’s trying to get. I have to say I am digging this more focused and more mature Zoey. But lowkey it makes me feel like something really crazy is about to happen because Sis just has it a little “too together.” We will have to wait until next week to see what kind of shenanigans are on the horizon for our girl.
See y’all next week!