cover image The Rebounders: A Division I Basketball Journey

The Rebounders: A Division I Basketball Journey

Amanda Ottaway. Univ. of Nebraska, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8032-9684-8

In this charming though uneven memoir, Ottaway recalls her four years as a scholarship player, beginning in 2008, on Davidson College’s women’s basketball team. She shares stories of her emotional and physical toil during the season, dealing with a coaching staff that breeds discord (“I believed that coach Katz loved us in her way. I just didn’t think she knew how to show us... her competitiveness came off as plain old hurtful”), stressing over her meager playing time, and realizing that she and her teammates are simply university “merchandise.” Ottaway relishes details—a strength coach boasts calves as “wide as cereal boxes”—and her description of the financial burden families face when a player gets injured is eye-opening. Throughout, she includes stories of her former teammates alongside those of her own struggles, a technique that works to varying degrees: while it offers glimpses into the broader world of college sports, it distracts from the narrative. Ottaway is certainly an affable and trustworthy guide but readers will be left wanting more. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Co. (Mar.)