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Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie, and Bobby Joe: HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL IN ILLINOIS Paperback – August 30, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the definitive book on Illinois high school basketball, the one long-time fans have been waiting for. Taylor Bell has done a marvelous job of researching the games, the players, and the coaches to produce 'can't-put-it-down reading.' As a sports editor who covered the high school basketball scene for 40 years, I give Taylor Bell a 5-star salute."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (August 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252071999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252071997
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Sweet Charlie, Cazzie, Dike, and Bobby Joe with great interest and enthusiasm. I was somewhat surprised by the emphasis on racial issues, but having lived during the 50's and 60's, it was certainly relevant. Taylor Bell described memorable characters, teams, games, and seasons. My memory was refreshed and/or corrected many times and I learned many new things about Illinois High School basketball. I felt vindicated reading about West Rockford scoring six points in one second. I told that story for years, but since I could not recall the details my friends were doubtful.

I remember watching many of the state tournaments starting with Mount Vernon versus Chicago DuSable. We watched on our small screen black and white TV until we got a 19 inch color in 1973. As a teacher at Stephen Decatur, I attended the 1962 state tournament in Huff Gym and was beyond excitement as the Running Reds beat Chicago Carver and the great Cazzie Russell. I knew Coach John Schneiter and the starting five: Ken Barnes, Bulldog Johnson, Prentis Jones, Jim Hallihan, and Jerry Hill. My future wife and I chaperoned one of the student pep busses. The excitement and celebration continued on the ride home to Decatur. I recently visited Decatur and was disappointed that Kintner Gym no longer stands and the Running Reds are no more.

I was first attracted to the book by the mention of Bobby Joe in the title. I was his tutor during the second semester of my first year at Bradley. We met two afternoons each week as I coached him about writing a term paper. On one of the afternoons, he would be proudly wearing his Air Force ROTC uniform. Bobby Joe was a friendly guy. I enjoyed working with him. I am saddened that he passed in 2006 at the age of 70.

I know Mike Owens of Galesburg HS and Bradley fame.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the fifties as a teenager one of my favorite nights of the year was the Illinois state basketball championship game. The stories and the names in the book brought back a rush of wonderful memories. Being from Rockford I particularly enjoyed the six point play by Rockford West. Taylor Bell told the stories that made Illinois high school basketball important to many towns and cities in Illinois. It is amazing to think about the longevity and success of many coaches in Illinois. Great read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With a long term interest in Illinois High School basketball it was a good read taking me back to the great teams I recall.
fron the 60s. Good book.
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Format: Hardcover
If your from Illinois and a high school basketball fan then this is a must read.
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