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A tremendous, riveting, often-heartbreaking account of schoolyard basketball legend/NBA star Connie Hawkins. Even though it's more than 30 years old, it's still an educational read about how the promise of sports stardom (both collegiate and professional) can betray so many talented inner-city kids. People like Hawkins paid dearly so that many years later, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, et al, could go straight to NBA fame and fortune without attending college.
I overstudied for my comprehensive exams at LSE which left me totally spent. We moved to Chapel Hill in the fall of 1973 and I began working on the gounds crew for UNC along with prison work release inmates including "Cool Daddy", a murderer and other unforgettable characters. I could only manage to read the Connie Hawkins story, which was ghost written no doubt, formulaic, and geared for a dull witted 14 year old. It took me about 6 weeks to finish it in my zombie state. Connie Hawkins grew up ...more
Connie Hawkins might well have been the best basketball player ever, but that will never be known because of the unfortunate problems that kept him out of the NBA for so long. Wolf wrote one of the best biographies I've ever read, not just one of the best sports-figure biographies, in this excellent portrayal of his rise from poverty to being black-listed to eventual vindication. I don't follow basketball much anymore, but I think that this is a book well worth reading for anyone interested in t ...more
I've always felt this was the greatest sports book ever written because Wolf, like a good sociologist, gives us the entire story of the Hawk's life. I had never understood the pressures facing young black men in the ghetto prior to this, having lived a more comfortable life and having pursued athletics for reasons far different than the young men found in this book. I have immense respect for Wolf for telling this tragic story with compassion.
One of the best inspirational sports books ever. It's not just for fans of basketball it's about the struggle of life and never giving up on your dreams. You can get anywhere you want in life if you decide to not accept failure. If you want something that appear unattainable read this book... you will change your mind and go for it.
Although slow and uneven at certain points, this insider's look at the life of the unfairly maligned Connie Hawkins is both a moving story of redemption as well as an excellent social history of professional basketball in the late 60s and early 70s.
One of the very best sports biographies ever written. Well researched and blunt; painting an honest yet not always flattering picture of Hawkins. You come away feeling you understand both the man and what he went through, inflicted by others as well as by himself.