From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Move over, Horatio Alger. Stringer's inspiring story of rising to the top through hard work and the love of a close-knit family is one of the strongest sports memoirs in recent years. The oldest child in a large family that stressed education, teamwork and dignity, Stringer manifested all those values in nearly four decades as a basketball coach. As the first coach in NCAA women's history to bring three different teams to the Final Four, Stringer has loads of fantastic stories to share, particularly the turnaround that resulted in the 2006–2007 Rutgers women moving from the bottom of their division to the top, winning the nation's respect even before their dignified response to Don Imus's slurs. This memoir is also about winning off the court, as Stringer describes the heartrending trials that have tested her endurance and faith: a major crisis with each of her three children; the sudden death of her beloved husband in 1991; and her own quiet struggle with cancer, discussed openly here for the first time. Karen Chilton's performance is strong and memorable, and Stringer herself reads the introduction.
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Stringer is the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Rutgers University—the team that radio-host Don Imus, in a mean-spirited attempt at humor, disparaged with a crude, racist remark, setting off a national firestorm. It’s to Stringer’s credit that the Imus incident takes only a few pages at the end of the book. This is a memoir of a coaching career and a life in which a lout with a microphone is merely a bump in the road. Stringer recounts her childhood in a small Pennsylvania mining town with five siblings and parents who prepared their children for success with love and discipline. After beginning as an unpaid volunteer coach at tiny Cheyney State, Stringer went on to revive a dormant program at Iowa before moving to Rutgers. Along the way, she recounts the personal tragedies that have paralleled her professional success: an infant daughter who contracted spinal meningitis; a husband who died at 44; her own bout with breast cancer. This is an emotional roller coaster of a memoir, but it is told with humor, passion, and gratitude. An inspiring life story—and certain to get plenty of attention. --Wes Lukowsky
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