Spencer Haywood: The Rise, the Fall, the Recovery

Spencer Haywood, Author, Scott Ostler, Author
Spencer Haywood, Author, Scott Ostler, Author Amistad Press $24.95 (284p) ISBN 978-1-56743-001-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-56743-042-4
Prebound-Other - 978-1-4176-2948-0
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A member of the gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team at the 1968 Olympics, Haywood later won a landmark Supreme Court case that established the ``hardship'' rule, which allowed college players to turn professional at any time. His skills propelled him to the top of the pro ranks as a star for Denver, Seattle, New York and, after a stint in Europe, Washington. His poignant autobiography, written with freelancer Ostler, chronicles troubles with incompetent and/or dishonest agents, an unsuccessful marriage to a fashion model and an addiction to drugs that nearly destroyed his career. What will stick in readers' minds, however, is Haywood's portrait of life in a family ``a step below poor'' in a Mississippi Delta town during the 1950s and 1960s, when the pangs of hunger were nothing compared to the humiliation of growing up in a society whose white members regarded blacks as subhuman, fun to shoot at or to use as targets on the golf driving range. These passages are chilling. Author tour. ( Nov. )
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