For future hoopers dead from Rugers shooting through the empty alley
Could've threw him an alley-oop, helping him do good in school
Most likely referencing Tyrone Lawson, a Chicago teen, and the January 2013 incident where the young basketball player was shot and killed after the game. He had a bright future ahead of him, but instead of helping him reach his goals, someone gunned him down. A similar death occurred back in 1984 when Ben Wilson, the top basketball recruit in the country, was gunned down. Chance has probably seen many kids with potential shot down considering that he grew up on the same street as the high school Derrick Rose went to and Chicago has such a high murder rate, particularly with kids in gangs.
This may also be connected to the line before, with Herbert Hoover being the 31st president of the United States, trying to see what a president can do to keep the kids in school, help them achieve academically rather than turning to the streets.
Also note the wordplay on “shooting” when Chance suggests they could of thrown him an “alley-oop” instead of killing him. Alley-oop is a collaborative move in basketball that takes more than one person to complete, instead of “shooting” they could of helped him out.
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