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Hope: A School, a Team, a Dream by Bill…
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Hope: A School, a Team, a Dream

by Bill Reynolds

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HOPE: A SCHOOL, A TEAM, A DREAM by Bill Reynolds recounts the 2012 basketball season at Hope high school in Providence, RI. The book shows how basketball at an inner city school, under the right guidance, can teach young men who are lost, forgotten, and misguided how to make better choices in life. As with anything, though, not all of the young men make the right choices.
The head coach, Dave Nyblom, has been at Hope high school since 1989. He seems, over the years, to have developed the ability to show compassion and caring towards all of his players, present and past, while at the same time he commands his team with a strong fist, constantly challenging them to be better than they are and he doesn't accept anything but the most each player can give him. His coaches, all volunteer, are an interesting bunch, all who just want the team and each player to be all they can be. Meanwhile, the players teeter between wanting the team to succeed and wanting to look good as individuals. On top of it all, its seems like every player has there own personal demons, whether its family, friends, or rivals, that constantly throw up obstacles for them to overcome.
Bill Reynolds makes me care about the team, the coaches, and the players by writing about them all in a very honest, straight-forward way. I was rooting for the team every step of the way. He also displayed the city of Providence in a way I was unaware of. He explains how the school system has been torn apart, put back together and now is so fragmented and backward in its design. It blew me away that most of team had to take two public buses to and from school and home every day and a lot of the time they just hung around after school on game days because there wasn't enough time to go home and be back in time for a evening game. The fact that many of the players are immigrants from war-torn Liberia was interesting as well. For one student, it meant he was shy to speak because of his accent and unique Liberian dialect, and yet seemed to be a great kid at heart.
Being a sports fan, and a fan of sports books, I enjoyed this book a lot. Reynolds did a good job of recounting the season and weaving in human interest all along the way. It reminded me of EAGLE BLUE by Michael D'Orso, seeing a group of young men coming together as a basketball team to reach as high as they can. i will definitely try other books by Reynolds after reading this book.

*** I received a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaway!*** ( )
  EHoward29 | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 125008069X, Hardcover)

Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island was once a model city school, graduating a wide range of students from different backgrounds. But the tumult of the 1960s and the drug wars of the 70s changed both Providence and Hope. Today, the aging school is primarily Hispanic and African-American, with kids traveling for miles by bus and foot each day.
Hope was known for its state championship basketball teams in the 1960s, but its 2012 team is much different. Disobedient, distracted, and overwhelmed by family troubles, with mismatched sneakers and a penchant for profanity and anger, these boys represent Coach Dave Nyblom's dream of a championship, however unlikely that might seem. Nyblom's mostly black players, including several who emigrated to Providence from war-torn Liberia, face gang violence, domestic uncertainty, drug problems, and a host of other issues. But with the unfailing support and guidance of Nyblom and other Hope coaches, their ragtag team gradually pulls together, overcoming every obstacle to find the faith and trust in themselves that Nyblom never stops teaching.
A look at a hidden world that just a few hundred yards from Brown University, Bill Reynolds' Hope is the inspiring true story of young men and their mentors pursuing one goal―a championship―but achieving so much more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 04 Jan 2016 14:54:14 -0500)

"Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island was once a model city school, graduating a wide range of students from different backgrounds. But the tumult of the 1960s and the drug wars of the 70s changed both Providence and Hope. Today, the aging school is primarily Hispanic and African-American, with kids traveling for miles by bus and foot each day. Hope was known for its state championship basketball teams in the 1960s, but its 2012 team is much different. Disobedient, distracted, and overwhelmed by family troubles, with mismatched sneakers and a penchant for profanity and anger, these boys represent Coach Dave Nyblom's dream of a championship, however unlikely that might seem. Nyblom's mostly black players, including several who emigrated to Providence from war-torn Liberia, face gang violence, domestic uncertainty, drug problems, and a host of other issues. But with the unfailing support and guidance of Nyblom and other Hope coaches, their ragtag team gradually pulls together, overcoming every obstacle to find the faith and trust in themselves that Nyblom never stops teaching. A look at a hidden world that just a few hundred yards from Brown University, Hope is the inspiring true story of young men and their mentors pursuing one goal--a championship--but achieving so much more"--… (more)

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