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Full-Court Press: Season Life Winning Basketball Team Women Who Made It Happpen Hardcover – March 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525940359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525940357
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,033,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Whether you're a rabid sports fan or flip to another channel fast, read this terrific, exhilarating story of a year in the life of a women's basketball team. At the University of Oregon--as at most schools--women's athletics drew the short straw: spartan quarters, bad practice times, low-paid coaching staff, and little respect. In 1993, ambitious new head coach Jody Runge sought to change this. A competitive player who had benefited from 1970s laws demanding equity between male and female athletics, Runge whipped her lagging team toward winning while legally pressuring the school to ante up. Full Court Press is remarkably suspenseful and dramatic as Runge and her team set out to "jump on 'em and show 'em who lives here."

From Publishers Weekly

Jody Runge took the job of women's basketball coach at the University of Oregon in 1993 and in her first year vitalized a moribund program, even getting an invitation to the NCAA tournament. But the following season is the author's focus here. Kessler (Stubborn Twig), who teaches writing at the university, is a master of her craft. Particularly striking is the in-depth portrait of Runge, who was concerned not only with building a winning team but also with securing a long-term contract and establishing women's basketball as a sport that deserved recognition and decent funding from the male-dominated athletic department. To carry on all these battles, the coach needed almost superhuman fortitude, and somehow she found it in herself to persevere and win all her struggles. Kessler also explores the personalities of the players as they experience good games and bad, moments of joy and of despair. For all her ability to show Runge's strengths, Kessler has not written a hagiography: she makes clear that her subject is an outstanding coach for tough young women but a poor one for players who need stroking and reassurance.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Lauren Kessler (www.laurenkessler.com) is the author of six works of narrative nonfiction, including My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey through the Thickets of Adolescence. She is also the author of Pacific Northwest Book Award winner Dancing with Rose (retitled in paperback Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's), Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl, Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club, Full Court Press and Oregon Book Award winner Stubborn Twig. Stubborn Twig was chosen as the book for all Oregon to read in honor of the state's 2009 sesquicentennial.

Lauren blogs with her teenage daughter at www.myteenagewerewolf.com. You can follow her on Twitter at LaurenJKessler

Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O magazine, salon and The Nation. She is founder and editor of Etude, the online magazine of narrative nonfiction, and directs the graduate program in literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her writer husband, Tom Hager, her three brilliant and faultless children, five chickens and a cat that thinks it's a dog.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Journalist Kessler takes a college team with little name recognition outside the Pacific Northwest and makes the characters fascinating!
From the stubborn coach of the women's basketball team to the ringers from Australia who join the team after the school year begins to the wily lawyer in Atlanta, one wants to know what will happen.
I think the reader sees both sides of the picture better than Jody the coach, and this is thanks to the honest approach of the author and the access she obtained to university staff as well as players and coaches.
The author looks at Title IX and Oregon's slow movement to comply with the rules, and this mirrors much that is going on in higher education throughout the country, and thus is extremely timely.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a way I loved the book. But I also felt sorry for some of the players, for having to put up with someone like coach Runge. Arianne Boyer was a great player and still is, and for Runge to treat her like that upsets me. I go to Fort Vancouver High School and my Basketball/Volleyball coach is Arianne Boyer. Yes alot of the book is true, but I feel people didn't really get to see the real side of Arianne like my teammates and I do. She is very supportive and understanding and she cares for each one of us. I'm very glad that Runge acted the way she did, because now Arianne doesn't treat us the same way. She understands how far to push us. I'm glad that the book came out, it made me understand where my coach came from and how far she has come.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am unsure whether Kessler is condecending to some percieved limitation in the intellect of sports fans or whether she herself missed the point. I have never before been so frustrated by such limited scope in what I expected to be a text with some feminist ethics. The author devotes a great deal of time to simplistic repetitive themes and shows absolutely no appreciation what so ever for the spirit and beauty of the game. (Runge wears heels and has romantic problems, the lone Black player does not fit in with her team mates, and the Blacks in LA are allowed to talk trash - how obvious, how disappointing). This parochial treatment of the story left me feeling that I had been deprived.
Perhaps I missed Kessler's point. Perhaps feminst sports fans are not part of her target audience. I for one look upon athletics as a means for girls and young women to build self esteem and respect for other women. Kessler seems to applaud its more militaristic demands for conformity and submission to authority. All of this in short choppy repetitive sentences.
I strongly recommend Corbett's Venus to the Hoop for a positive and rewarding perspective on the women's game. I also found VanDerveer's Shooting from the Outside to be a pleasant read. Corbett brings a well rounded perspective - sophisticated enough to offer an interesting contrast between urban street ball and small town girls' preps leagues. VanDerveer proves that given enough knowledge and appreciation for the game the text can work without a complete or complex perspective. Kessler proves the at least one of the two is necessary.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book was great. It was detailed and easy to reada, where as it described the life of these women vividly. You felt at home with each of the women and like you knew and understood all of their problems completely. Laure Kessler does a great job!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was led to believe the book would be a lot about the team and it was. However, there is an awful lot more about coach Jody Runge and her contract dilemma with the university while trying to build a winning basketball team. I can see why she may have hated this book. It is everything she isn't about. Your common fan isn't going to care so much about Title IX and men/women equity in sports. They just want to cheer for a winning team and learn about their experiences. The inside look at a women's basketball team was interesting, but it also got repetitive. Mention that a player misses her best friend once or twice and I get it. Mentioning it throughout the whole book is a bit much. The author gets too hung up on the coach's contract squabble that the team didn't even care about. Why should the reader care if the team didn't? There isn't much direct comment from the players, only their thoughts ... or is it the thoughts of the author for the players. Just about right on the season highlights ... not too much and not too little, just hitting what's important and how it affected the team.
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