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Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA Hardcover – May 26, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Allred played basketball with the University of Utah, then Weber State, before eventually joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008, and recounts in folksy, unpretentious prose his long, arduous dream fulfilled to make the NBA. Rendered mostly deaf as an infant, possibly from complications due to his Rh blood incompatibility with his mother, Allred grew up in a fundamentalist polygamist commune in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, founded by his own grandfather who was escaping government persecution for his pluralist beliefs. Infighting among the incestuous group members eventually drove the author's family out, and they settled in Salt Lake City. There the author, who grew to be 6'11", suffering from asthma, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and equipped with hearing aids, began to excel in high school basketball. Recruited on scholarship to Utah, he played three years under the brutally exacting coach, Rick Majerus, only to feel his sense of self slowly extinguished by the coach's abusive practices. Allred's voice is humorously self-deprecating and youthfully winning. Frank about his shortcomings (he had to scrounge for professional gigs in Turkey and elsewhere before hitting a spot in the NBA), he delivers an accessible, competent narrative, with highly unusual details about his Mormon roots. (June)
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From Booklist

Yes, Allred made it to the NBA, for three games in the 2007–08 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. By comparison, Paul Shirley, the original literary basketball gypsy (Can I Keep My Jersey? 2007) played in 18 NBA games over three seasons. Hardly distinguised careers, but there must be something about being tall, introspective, and not quite good enough for the NBA that lends itself to fine writing. Allred, in an ingratiating, self-deprecating style, writes of his Mormon youth in a polygamous community. Remarkably, it was fairly normal by conventional standards. His father had two wives, but one was essentially out of the picture as Allred grew up. He is deaf, though hearing aids help. (One particularly sensitive teacher ascribed his disability to his support for Satan in pre-existence, contending that deafness was a lesser punishment from a merciful God.) Allred was a high-school star, then played at Utah and later  in Europe and the NBA’s developmental league before finally enjoying his proverbial cup of coffee with the Cavs. His is a genuinely unlikely story, but he relates it with humor, insight, and compassion. --Wes Lukowsky
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061718580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061718588
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kirstin Greig on June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What an awesome story. The author's voice really comes through, which is so impressive that he wrote it himself, as opposed to going the typical route of a ghost writer, or co-contributor. It lends a truly personal side to the story.

Non-sports lovers shouldn't be scared off by this, it goes so far beyond basketball. His stories range from heartbreaking to embarrassing, but most of all detail the triumphs of the fragile human spirit. His sense of humor is dry, self depricating and sometimes almost snide. But charming and endearing nonetheless. The polygamy angle is titillating enough, but not to the point of a tattle tell-all. Great balance to that, and really facinating.

I personally loved his stories of being overseas, and having to scrap in the developmental league. It gives a totally different perspective, to which you cannot help but to have respect for professional athletes. It's truly not all glamour.

In the end, you left the book feeling better about yourself, like maybe, just maybe you can dare to dream. For cryingout loud, if a Deaf, Fundamentalist, Mormon Kid can make it to the NBA, anything is possible!
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Format: Hardcover
"Longshot", Lance Allred's thoughtful and inspirational memoir, was an enjoyable read. He tells so many of his stories in engaging and descriptive vignettes, allowing his readers to vividly picture his memories as if we were there, too. Allred discusses his 'surprisingly-normal' childhood in a polygamous commune and his family's later struggle to leave polygamy, and also talks about his personal coming-to-terms with 'disabilities' - being legally deaf, and dealing with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. While all of this would be an interesting read on its own, we also learn about Allred's difficult journey to be a full-time player in the NBA - a very rough journey which is still in progress, but a journey he has met with continued optimism and humor. As a Special Education teacher, I value Allred's story of perseverance though discrimination and the pressure to be 'normal' - and the strength he showed in being his own person. Of course, this book is one that I would recommend to sports fans, but, more importantly, it is a book I would recommend to anyone who enjoys honest, funny and insightful stories of hope.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm only half way through this book. I picked it up because it said it was the story of a pro basketball player who is deaf. So far there is very little mention of it except for a few references that he was teased as a kid and ridiculed by a college coach. It's slow reading, but I will complete it so I can have knowledge of at least one sports figure that my husband doesn't know! LOL
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lance is my second cousin. I love the way he writes and appreicate his candid and humorous voice in telling about his life. I'd like to be able to find him to tell him "WAY TO GO CUZ! and best wishes forever!" Kristyn Decker
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Format: Hardcover
This book was well written and exciting to read. I couldn't wait to see what he was going to say next! I laughed, cried, became mad at some of the people in his life, and was amazed as he triumphed over all odds. I recommended it to everyone, even if you aren't a sports fan you would like his honest, inspirational, and amazing story.
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