Can't wait to read this – "Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine
" by George Dohrmann.
Once every couple of years a high school basketball book hits the shelves that I get truly excited about ("Miracle at St. Anthony"/"The Assist"). Dohrmann – an investigative reporter for Sports Illustrated – has my interest piqued for this one.
Picked it up at a local book store last night and will offer my thoughts once I tear through it.
For those that haven't heard the buzz on the book, it follows the saga of middle-school basketball phenom Demetrius Walker and adidas AAU organizer and coach Joe Keller.
Walker was tabbed as a LeBron James-type prospect as a youth before putting together a very solid high school career at JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.), winning a state championship during his senior year in Arizona. He played his freshman year at the college level at Arizona State last season before transferring to New Mexico.
Keller is painted as exploitative, eventually becoming a millionaire on the backs of teenage boys.
The book stirred controversy before it was even released as the author portrayed Hoop Scoop writer Clark Francis in extremely unflattering light, prompting this response (halfway down the page under "Monday, September 27, 2010").
According to the linked story from Bloomberg.com, Keller is also planning to sue Dohrmann and his publisher.