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The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division I College Basketball Paperback – November 1, 2001
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In The Last Amateurs, he mines the 1999-2000 season of Patriot League basketball. Given the high-stakes, high-profile, and often dirty world of college hoops these days, Feinstein comes up with a remarkably refreshing place to visit, a sporting environment short on scandals, prima donnas, and sneaker contracts, but long on a pure passion for the game that complements achievement in the classroom. In the league's seven schools--Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette, Colgate, Holy Cross, Army, and Navy--academics come first, the hardwood second. These are campuses populated by students who happen to be athletes, not athletes stopping off on the way to lucrative careers in professional sports. Indeed, these are young athletes who have their post-college focus on the rest of their lives, not the NBA. Sports, for them, builds character, not bank accounts.
Still, the Patriot League is a Division I conference, with its champion earning an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. It takes the games seriously--often, as Feinstein reveals, heartbreakingly so--even if it doesn't necessarily play to ACC, SEC, Big 10, and Pac-10 standards. Feinstein's interviewing, skillful as ever, brings the players, coaches, and administrators of the colleges in this league to full form, making The Last Amateurs a rarity among sports books--a smart volume about smart people with their heads and priorities pointed in the right direction. Like the conference itself, it's in a league of its own. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Last Amateurs detalis a league untainted by shoe contracts, agents, and TV money. It looks at true student athletes, most of whom will play their last basketball game when the Patriot League season ends their senior year.
This was a fantastic book. Definitely worth a read.
In detailing a season where there are no television millions, agents, shoe contracts, recruiting violations, NBA scouts, or academic scandals, the reader is rewarded with a book that deals solely with college basketball, its players, coaches, fans, and rivalries. As such, it is the best book about college hoops, or for that matter college sports, that I've ever read. It's a must read for the cynical, the jaded, or merely those who love a great sports story.
This is a nicely told tale of the fight to win the league's championship and its only bid to the NCAA Tournament. Its nice to read about athletes going all out to win even though the arenas may be small and the crowds might sometimes number in the hundreds rather than thousands. Caution though, Feinstein includes so much detail, so many names, and so many events that the reader may have a tendency to suffer from information overload. Nevertheless, this is a refreshing look at another aspect of collegiate competition.Read more ›
His subject matter is the 1999-2000 basketball season of Patriot League members, Navy, Lafayette, Lehigh, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, and Holy Cross. Although I consider myself a serious fan of college basketball, I must admit, I knew very little about this league or its teams until reading this book. Having grown up a fan of Big Ten basketball, I'm not sure I could have identified the states, let alone the cities, that these Patriot League teams called "home". And, while I was certainly recognized the names of the league best known coaches, Ralph Willard and Don Devoe, the rest of the leagues coaches and players toiled away in basic anominity.
Feinstein changed all that.
His description of the dedication and effort that these teams put forth every year, with little national recognition, was intriguing. He drove you to get to know these players and coaches better. And, along the way, gave the reader a vision of what college basketball (and athletics) should really be about - working toward graduation and playing for your school's pride (instead of playing to impress NBA scouts). This is the purist's view of college basketball and it was refreshing to read!
I would encourage any fan of college athletics to give this book a try.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Feinstein applies his nicely readable style to the Patriot League (Navy, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Colgate, Army, Bucknell) circa 2000. Read morePublished 14 months ago by K.A.Goldberg
Purchased this for my son. He said it was a great book.Published 17 months ago by Patricia A. Petryk
I love college basketball, actually, I love basketball period. And I feel strongly that big time college football and basketball have long been hijacked by professional aspirations... Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by J Chadderdon
I am a big fan of Division I College Basketball and really all college basketball. John Feinstein is my favorite sports writer, and he did not disappoint.Published on November 9, 2013 by Judy H. King
Feinstein writes well for the reader because he comes from a journalist perspective. There are a lot of direct quotes, and the writing flows well. Read morePublished on February 22, 2011 by B. Adducchio
Year in and year out, college basketball is dominated by schools in conferences such as the ACC or Big East, but John Feinstein became intrigued by the Patriot League, a conference... Read morePublished on May 25, 2010 by Eric Mayforth
This book really describes what sports competition, especially basketball is all about. These players play for the love of the game and to be involved in pure competition, not just... Read morePublished on March 15, 2010 by Sherman Coleman
The Last Amateurs is not A Season on the Brink. In fact, I don't think it as well written or organized. Read morePublished on October 23, 2009 by Kevin Sivils
I really enjoyed "The Last Amateurs." I've been a sports fan since grade school and as I write this, I'm closer to 50 than I'd care to be, so it's been a while. Read morePublished on March 2, 2008 by Bruce Baskin