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I had high expectations for this publication, especially so with a title that offers such amazing potential. I am a product of the K-12 Chicago Public School system, former varsity basketball player and multi-sport athlete at a Chicago public high school in the early 1960's, so I have more than a vested interest in the author's subject matter. I enthusiastically bought several copies of this book with the intention of sending copies to the life-long friends that I met through my high school basketball days and are now scattered around the country. Instead, what I found was a text that was written at the level of a high school term paper. There are historical inaccuracies, punctuation errors, annoying amounts of self-promotion by the author (including an irrelevant photo of himself on the cover), and a painful lack of any meaningful research prior to the teams and stars of the 1950's. For example, the author drops a few names of stars from the 1920's and 1930's and then completely jumps over the 1940's totally omitting the great South Shore HS teams from the 1940's, coached by Tony Malfia, that went to the state tourney numerous times. Further, if this is the "History of Chicago Basketball" as the cover's subtitle says, why is there NO mention at all of the Chicago Catholic League and its great players (ever hear of Art Hicks, Corey Magette and Tom Kleinschmidt?)? To top it off, the book is printed in a style that's double-spaced - meaning that there could easily be fewer pages in this publication. I can't believe that an editor actually passed this "book" through for publication. If you want more information about the history of Chicago High School basketball, I recommend any of author Taylor Bell's related publications and books. I consider myself a relatively positive person, and have never written a negative book review before...but I felt compelled to post one here for this personally very disappointing purchase and read.
I eagerly bought this book as a package with four other basketball books about Illinois high school basketball history. After reading the first sentence I quickly realized that this was poorly written and poorly edited. I was stunned to find out that the author was asociated with the Chicago Board of Education and had gone to an Ivy League University (Penn). Throughout the book there were so many grammatical errors and misusage of upper and lower case letters that it serves as an example of how not to write or publish a book. I teach at a downstate community college and when I showed this book to my colleagues they were horrified that this was published and concerned that this was an example of what goes on within the Chicago public school systems.
The author really exhibits a love of the game combined with great respect for the players. He goes back to the turn of the century and educates us all about how basketball has evolved over the past 100 years. It is very educational, as the history will benefit both young people and basketball fans alike. The writing has an unmatched connection to the inner city, and shows how communities come together when sports activities are organized the right way. The book also highlights hows sports can be used as an avenue for not only playing professionally, but as an avenue for upward mobility. The success stories were amazing. Calvin Davis gets 5 stars from me, and I just cannot wait for volume II. This is a very very unique publication. I could not put it down because it was so stimulating. Some of the information gave me chills. This inner city perspective from the person who lived it is something very special indeed.
Mr. Davis captures the essence of Chicago's basketball culture in an informative and entertaining way. Not just facts, but this book gives you a sense of the attitudes and atmosphere that were prevalent in Chicago's basketball culture. A comprehensive history of basketball in Chicago, enhanced with the social role that basketball played in the neighborhood and the role that basketball played in forming young men's lives. This book gives a good overview of Chicago "old school" basketball, which is a major part of the foundation of the mega-million dollar, international basketball industry of today. A joy to read for any basketball enthusiast, especially those who grew up in the inner city. "Inner City Hoops" should be required reading for the young men and women playing high school basketball today.
At Last!!! A basketball player's persceptive about inner-city basketball Chicago-style. Not a sports writer's outsider point-of-view but from a sports aficionado who "played the game in the trenches" with many of Chicago's all-time greats. A must read for true Chicago basketball junkies and historians alike. Calvin Davis not only gives us an in-depth historical lesson of the roots of Chicago basketball, but also allows us to relive the glory years of hoops in the city during the 70's and 80's. After reading this book you will be equipped to talk water-cooler, barbershop, standing on the street corner reminiscing about back-the-day hoop memories with the best of them. Look forward to many more volumes to come!!!
The author portrays a realistic view of the history of Chicago basketball. The author discusses the evolution of basketball on the southside of Chicago. This s a must read for basketball fans and Chicago fans.