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Scaramouch turns out to be not only a great mentor and couch, but a substitute father as well. He demanded excellence but had compassion. And he taught Mark some things about politics as well, especially concerning how funding was unequally distributed between the black tennis organization and the white tennis organization in South Africa.
Mark becomes so wrapped up in tennis that Mama warns him not to forget school.
Papa says it's a sissy sport, and wishes Mark would get interested in tribal warrior culture. Papa tells Mark that he's a woman in disguise and threatens to "cure" Mark of his interest in books, tennis, and white culture.