cover image They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood

They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood

Sugar Rodgers. Black Sheep, $14.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-61775-929-1

In 31 intimate, accessibly voiced if transition-lacking chapters, Las Vegas Aces guard Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers recounts her life, from her youth “surrounded by drugs and violence” in Suffolk, Va., to her current career with the Women’s National Basketball Association. Born in 1989 to Barbara Mae “Bob Mae” Rodgers, the beloved “best candy lady on the block,” Sugar grew up a tomboy in a single-parent household with her older siblings and other family members, discovering a gift for sports despite her mother’s wish that she concentrate on her studies. Bob Mae “worked two jobs and lived on food stamps to make ends meet,” but Sugar reminisces on the good times her family had. Bob Mae also provides encouragement through Sugar’s early golf career, as Sugar meets Tiger Woods, features in his foundation’s Coca-Cola commercial, and later represents his team in a California invitational. With her sister in jail and her mother beginning to succumb to lupus, Sugar’s home life degrades, but she perseveres to attend college and reach the WNBA. Clearly illustrating her mother’s strong influence and her supportive community, Rodgers pulls no punches in this raw, emotional rags-to-riches memoir. Ages 11–up. [em](May) [/em]