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Home Sweet Hardwood: A Title IX Trailblazer Breaks Barriers Through Basketball Paperback – March 13, 2013
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Observing the courage and determination with which Pat pursued her dream goes beyond gender and racial lines to reach a much deeper place within us all. This is a profound story of the strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme challenges. Inspiring, illuminating and awesome; Home Sweet Hardwood is certain to have a profound impact, not only on women of all ages, but upon anyone who has ever aspired to overcome all odds for something or someone that they love.
5 star review Bil Howard Readers' Favorite
Deeply inspirational, fascinating, and heartbreaking, Pat's pursuit to play the sport she loves is a hard journey that paves the way for women's participation not only in basketball, but sports in general. Whether you play basketball or not, anyone - both women and men of all ages - will connect with Pat's story about overcoming adversities in life and pursuing the goals that makes one's life meaningful. I was very much immersed in Home Sweet Hardwood, and it was hard to stop even for a break. Pat's prose is charming, candid, and hilarious. 5 star review Lit Amri Readers' Favorite
Pat has a unique style of writing about her journey, being completely honest about the struggles and difficult times as well as the better times, using humor throughout. Pat made the story fun to read yet loaded it with history about women and their place in sports. There is so much in this book you just have to read it for yourself. Pat had to leave basketball early in her career because of an accident but didn't let that stop her from mentoring young women with the same love of basketball. If you love sports, you MUST pick up a copy. 5 star review Joy Hannabass Readers' Favorite
It's not only about the game, but also a woman's perseverance, battles, and personal growth that enable her to explore her inner strength. It is the courageous memoir of a person whose basketball career ends because of an accident but it does not cripple her spirit; and her passion for the sport still continues. The breakthrough Pat makes into a man's world is an encouragement to all women. This very personal book touches a chord within you. Her honest sharing of success and struggles makes the book appealing. 5 star review Mamta Madhavan Readers' Favorite
Just like the time when women weren't allowed to vote, there was also a time when women weren't given the same opportunities as men when it came to sports and education. McKinzie's dedication to the game at a time when it wasn't welcomed is so strong that she was able to beat the troubles that came her way. It is not only the story of Pat but also of all the other pioneers and female athletes that experienced gender inequality. It is a book rich in history, life lessons, and nuggets of wisdom. Her story is not just inspiring; it's cathartic. 4 star review Lorena Sanqui Readers' Favorite
About the Author
As a pioneer for women’s basketball, Pat McKinzie is the first female athletic scholarship recipient in Illinois and first female player to score 1,000 points at ISU. She is one of the first Women’s Professional Basketball League draftees and female inductees in the Hall of Fame at Illinois State. After a 1983 car accident in France ended her playing career, McKinzie began to focus her energy on coaching. With thirty years of experience in coaching, teaching, and writing, she has cultivated an impressive career from hall-of-fame coach to basketball agent, student advisor, columnist, and blogger. McKinzie has a bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois State University. She is married to a Frenchman with whom she raised two Third Culture Kids, and she currently resides in Switzerland.
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Pat didn't fit into the narrow mold prescribed for women at the time. Here's a sample of her introspective thoughts:
"I strummed my guitar, alone. I wished I could have been happy wearing dresses in 7th grade, make up in 8th, class rings in 9th, that I could have been satisfied having a boyfriend who was All-American instead of having to be the All-American, that I could feel fulfilled by being married, making babies, joining a bridge club. But I had to be different: wear pants to church, laugh when my sweetheart offered his class ring, and play out my dreams on a basketball court long after my classmates started playing house."
HSH is more than basketball, although the descriptions of the game are breathtaking. It's a story of a young girl's frustration with trying to mature outside the proscribed and, at the time, narrow strictures of femininity, but still wanting to be a girl. Patty was tall, graceful, gorgeous and athletic, and she lived for basketball. It was her celebration of life and her meditative center. She didn't just crave the game, she needed it to be healthy in body and spirit. This drive compelled her to put up with poverty, near-homelessness, hunger and humiliation. She played through horrific injuries, and mental and physical pain. In spite of the fact of being a rather shy introvert, she left home to play in Europe where she knew no one, and in the midst of unfamiliar culture and language. Her story brings back memories of the crazy hunger of youth, but also the difficulty.
I so identified with this well-told and beautifully inspiring story. As I read about Pat navigating her life, I felt a strong sense of satisfaction. She - we - made it.
Pat's journey takes the reader through memories of growing up, family, goals, disappointments, achievements, supportive family and friends, and the desire to be successful. We learn from Pat's story about her father and grandfather that greater than their success was their significance in the lives of those they coached and taught. Pat does a great job sharing her life and the lives of others who made an impact on her. She has gone on to be a person who contributes a great deal to the young men and women she mentors in the classroom and on the court.
Pat takes us to wonderful locations like Sterling, Illinois, Europe, and a place I love--Summit Lake, Wisconsin. The places we grow up, live, and find relaxation and solace help form our character and our contributions to the society in which we live.
The reader will be taken on a journey of reflection that will enrich one's life. Enjoy the smells, sights, and sounds of her experiences. Experience a wonderful family and the love of sport.
This book is humorous, historical, insightful and inspiring! Readers WILL NOT be disappointed by Pat McKinzie's story!!