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Outside Shot: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County's Quest for Basketball Greatness
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Outside Shot: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County's Quest for Basketball Greatness

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
"A reporting tour de force and an utterly gripping account… Outside Shot unmistakably triumphs, with the reader rooting hard for the Cardinals—and delighted that O'Brien has brought his considerable skills to telling their story." —Wayne Coffey, New York Times Book Review

The Cardinals of Scott County High School were beloved once---and with good reason. For years, the boys
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 15th 2013)
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Seli Fuimaono
I really enjoyed this book, which examined the circumstances, sportsmanship, and personal lives of a Kentucky high school basketball team. It reminded me of a similar book that I read when I was in high school called "In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle." The drama of the games and of the lives and decisions of the teams main characters comes through in O' Brien's writing in this occasionally tense, but always thoughtful, work on non-fiction.
Jim Willse
Well researched, especially the backdrop of Scott County. Game chapters feel too long. Love to see an addendum in a couple years on how the kids turn out.
Chuck
Oct 27, 2015 Chuck rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some chapters, particularly those dealing with historical background, were fairly interesting, but for the most part this story could have been written about almost any high school team in the country. Other teams wouldn't, obviously, have as much basketball talent, but all high school teams have players who go through as much or more than the Scott County players in this book. Also, even though Coach Hicks has a lot of high school wins, I just don't see him as having the qualities of a coach wh ...more
Michael Griswold
May 31, 2013 Michael Griswold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keith O'Brien in Outside Shot has written a book about a basketball team and an entire town that is typical of many cities in America right now where jobs are hard to come by and oppertunities few and far between. Still this basketball team of scrappy kids from a struggling town have managed to over-achieve to the point of where appearences in the season ending tournament at fabled Rupp Arena are expected.

O'Brien follows the team through the 2010-11 year and chronicles their successes and their
...more
Branden
Nov 11, 2014 Branden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Outside Shot” by Keith O’Brien is an intriguing and entertaining story of a basketball team in Kentucky and their journey to prove themselves on the court. O’Brien go’s in depth with each player in that locker room to give you an understanding on what basketball means to these kids and the struggles they face physically and mentally. The author captures the image of each players background and personality very well, and also describes the community and their opinions on this team in a town that ...more
Marty Greenwell
Jan 19, 2014 Marty Greenwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though I am 59, this book brought back the feeling of high school basketball and it's all encompassing hold on small towns in Kentucky. Our teams did not make it to "State" or the "Sweet Sixteen" but we felt proud of our very good program. I really liked this book. Everyone can get something out of it. If you have something to look up to and forward to, in this case high school basketball, it means much less that you aren't living in the most "cultured" place or that your town might look at ...more
Dan
Dec 17, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic story, written in a riveting, present style.

This isn't just a sports book. It reads almost like a novel. O'Brien has done a masterful job telling not just the story of a tense high school basketball season, but also giving an intimate portrait of the lives of these kids who pin every last hope on the sport. Some for fame, some for honor, some for redemption.

O'Brien embedded himself in the classroom, the locker room and even the breakfast table with these players and their families.
...more
Linda Glass
May 27, 2013 Linda Glass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book thoroughly but I'm not sure how much my enjoyment was colored by the fact that it is written about the high school in the community I have called home for thirty-five years. I know coach Hicks and many of the people mentioned in the book. It was interesting to me to see how O'Brien, an impartial observer, sees our community, our way of life, and our values. On some observations I take issue, but it is, after all, his book and he has every right to call it as he sees it. Well ...more
April
Jan 19, 2013 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reporter that wrote this book took in to affect everything surrounding the basketball team and gave it a thorough sweep of the things that not only allow our kids to be players but be the best they can in hard times. I dont generally like sports themed books but even i must say not a bad choice here. If you have ever wondered what goes into the team sport or school athletics this story will bring it to life for you. the Author allow you into the everyday life of kids that play these sports a ...more
Sara
Feb 16, 2013 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know much about sports, but I enjoyed this book. The author spent a great deal of time in the community, with the players, coach, and their families. The storytelling revolves around the game of basketball, and its significance in each of the character's lives, but it is also a book about their relationships with one another and what the game represented to them in terms of chances and opportunities. I was left with the hope that each of them went on to be happy and successful, and that ...more
Tommy Druen
Jan 17, 2013 Tommy Druen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O'Brien does an excellent job of not only chronicling a high school basketball team's season, but looking much deeper into the community. He looks into what life events have shaped the coach and players, as well as what events have shaped Scott County. And, in the end, he presents a great snapshot of one team, one school, one community that is representative of 200+ others across the state and gives the reader a bit more understanding of Kentucky's obsession with high school basketball.
Sharon
O'Brien presents a compelling, thought-provoking story of Scott County Kentucky high school basketball team on its journey to state tournament. My, what a mutant hungry monster has grown up around youth athletics...so crazy. The book is well researched and thorough. I'm afraid the author's adult lens shoots over the heads of high school readers. Outside Shot is not getting many bites from teen readers in my library.
Leda
Jul 04, 2013 Leda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, which examined the circumstances, sportsmanship, and personal lives of a Kentucky high school basketball team. It reminded me of a similar book that I read when I was in high school called "In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle." The drama of the games and of the lives and decisions of the teams main characters comes through in O' Brien's writing in this occasionally tense, but always thoughtful, work on non-fiction.
MJ
Jul 12, 2013 MJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this is a good read about how sports are woven into the fabric of a place. O'Brien brings the gritty realism of high school basketball and the expectations of the coaches, players, and parents in a small economically depressed town in Kentucky. Good basketball action throughout.
Laura Meanwell
Nov 22, 2013 Laura Meanwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love grit and grind and come from behind stories you will enjoy this fast-paced, well-written title. O'Brien spent months with this team, getting to know the players, the coaches and their families intimately. It's not always pretty, but it is full of passion. Highly recommend!
Mark Simon
Apr 04, 2013 Mark Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely well-researched, very thorough, very descriptive. Definitely recommend, particularly for people who are big basketball fans and have always wondered what high-school basketball is like in a hotbed like Kentucky.
Mark
Nov 01, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this in-depth look at Kentucky High School Basketball. Gives good historical look at the sport as the book follows a year at Scott County High School and legendary coach Billy Hicks.
Amanda
Apr 04, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basketball junkies will love the story as the author's journalistic style gives every detail of the season. As a sports fan I enjoyed the story but the length may be a barrier for some.
Fiona
Oct 09, 2013 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This got a great review in the New York Times. But it's not in the league of Friday Night Lights or Play Their Hearts Out. Still an interesting enough read.
Denise
Denise rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2017
Doug Most
Dec 23, 2013 Doug Most rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Inside a world I know only from the magazines.
John Pirone
John Pirone rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2013
Terri
Terri rated it liked it
Oct 10, 2015
Michael
Michael rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2013
Rob E
Rob E rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2016
Adam Simmons
Adam Simmons rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2016
kristopher kaliebe
kristopher kaliebe rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2015
Autumn
Autumn rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2014
AJ Mealor
AJ Mealor rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2015
bill
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Sep 09, 2015
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