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Heaven Is a Playground by Rick Telander

Heaven Is a Playground

by Rick Telander

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Rick Telander, author and Sun-Times columnist described how Obama saw him in a crowd and called him out as the author of "the best book I've ever read about basketball." Telander wrote that he was "startled and embarrassed" but then realized that Obama found in the book the "historic essence of the game he loved.That I wrote about Brooklyn ballers in the 1970s meant nothing. Obama, of course, saw the universal in the specific."
  pjhogan | Jan 19, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0803294530, Paperback)

In 1974, Rick Telander intended to spend a few days doing a magazine piece on the court wizards of Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant area. He ended up staying the entire summer, become part of the players' lives and eventually the coach of a loose aggregation known as the Subway Stars.

Telander lets these kids speak for themselves, revealing their grand dreams and ambitions, but never flinches from showing us how far their dreams are from reality. The precursor to Ben Joravsky's Hoop Dreams.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Heaven Is a Playground was the first book on the uniquely American phenomenon of urban basketball. Rick Telander, a photojournalist and former high school basketball player, spent part of the summer of 1973 and all of the summer of 1974 in Brooklyn living the playground life with his subjects at Foster Park in Flatbush. He slept on the floor of a park regular's apartment, observing, questioning, traveling, playing with, and eventually coaching a ragtag group of local teenagers whose hopes of better lives were often fanatically attached to the transcendent game itself. Telander.… (more)

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