From Publishers Weekly
King grew up in Arkansas shooting baskets in the driveway with her brother. At 27, she moved to Chicago and found herself yearning for the court in an effort to erase an inner emptiness. Her tender memoir chronicles her playing pickup basketball, meandering from playground to gym to YMCA. King first joins an amateur league, but soon branches out to Chicago's many and various multicultural neighborhood pickup games. Basketball helps her escape her less than satisfying job and love life, but she's equally engaged by the character and psychology of her fellow players, like the "old park dude" who hangs out at Wicker Park, and Tina, "a little tomboy hotdog" living in the projects. King's basketball life—and this book—wander pleasantly from game to game until, at age 35, she discovers her skills are slipping. Her desire to stay tied to basketball leads her to coach a team of 10-year-old girls, and the book takes a new direction. Transformed from casual player to coach, King evolves from a slightly removed participant to a passionate leader. Her growth is a surprising, satisfying ending to a story with wide appeal.
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About the Author
Melissa King has written for Sports Illustrated, Chicago Reader, Sport Literate, Arkansas Times, and other publications. Her story "It's All in the Game" was selected by Richard Ford for The Best American Sports Writing 1999. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.