Hoop Dreams: A True Story of Hardship and Triumph

Ben Jarovsky, Author, Ben Joravsky, Author Turner Publications Inc $22.95 (301p) ISBN 978-1-57036-153-1
Based on the documentary film of the same name, this book by Chicago journalist Joravsky looks at the dream of ghetto youths to play in the NBA. The only way to do that, according to the author, is to attend the appropriate high school, like St. Joseph's in suburban Chicago, which sent Isiah Thomas onto Indiana University and the NBA. St. Joseph's is a school where academics come first. Into this environment are recruited two freshmen guards from the ghetto, Arthur Agee and William Gates. Agee, the class clown, comes from a family on welfare and has a father who is a junkie. Gates, out of the notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, is a serious individual who works hard to improve his fourth-grade reading level. Problems for the boys begin in the second year: Agee, his parents unable to afford the tuition, leaves St. Joseph's for an inner-city public school; Gates's girlfriend becomes pregnant. He is next confronted by two knee surgeries that threaten his basketball career. Happily, both go on to graduate and receive scholarships: Agee to Arkansas State and Gates, with his wife and baby in tow, to Marquette. Both will graduate in 1995, still dreaming of latching onto an NBA team. This is at once a heart-wrenching and uplifting story of survival. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!