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Neil Swidey


The Assist: hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives by Neil Swidey
The Assist: Hoops, Hope,
and the Game of Their Lives
By: Neil Swidey


In this engaging book about Boston's Charlestown High School basketball  (external link) team, Swidey, a staff writer for the Boston Globe Magazine, explains that being part of the Charlestown program was no guarantee that a kid would become a success....
But dropping out of the program dramatically increased the odds that he wouldn't.

Head coach Jack O'Brien benefited from the team aside from its gaudy won-loss record. Unmarried and with a shattered family history, O'Brien found that the rigid team structure... offered the trappings of home.

Like a concerned parent, O'Brien worked year-round to keep his kids away from the overwhelming daily wave of crime and bad influences and into the security of a college-educated future.
Swidey masterfully shows over the course of two seasons the struggle O'Brien and his players face in maintaining success on and off the court. The coach observes the lives of his two star players, Ridley Johnson and Jason Hood White, go in very different directions after they land out-of-state college scholarships.

Swidey expertly examines the slippery slope of Charlestown's success , tying it into Boston's disastrous busing scandal and an underwhelming legal system that perpetuates crime, while he builds narrative momentum and details his subjects with the touch of a skilled novelist.

This is a prodigiously reported, compulsively readable book that readers (sport fans or not) will savor .

... more  The Assist: hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives by Neil Swidey  info at ...

The Assist: hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives by Neil Swidey


• Author: Neil Swidey
• Format: eBook & Book
• Hardcover: 358 pages
• Publisher: PublicAffairs
• Publishing Date: 1st edition ~ January 7, 2008
• Language: English

• Also available: In the new eBook format



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