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Brooks (sociology, Univ. of California at Riverside), having studied under and been inspired by the highly esteemed Elijah Anderson at the University of Pennsylvania, provides an ethnographic description of recreational basketball in South Philadelphia. A self-professed frustrated former high school basketball player (he blames himself and his former coach for his shortcomings), the author looks at the hopes and dreams of young inner-city black men he coached who aspired to play ball professionally. In true sociological tradition, he presents detailed information on members of the famed Blade Rodgers Neighborhood Development League, based on interviews with these athletes, their families, coaches, and other locals. While focusing on two athletes in particular, Brooks educates readers about a number of "street" realities (e.g., the daily struggle for survival and basketball viewed as a way out of the ghetto). Demystifying certain racial stereotypes, Brooks explains that even God-given skills must be developed through hard work and dedication. His book is a worthy ethnographic text and is recommended especially for students of sports sociology.