Heaven Is a Playground, Third Edition

Overview


Heaven Is a Playground was the first book on the uniquely American phenomenon of urban basketball. Rick Telander, a young photojournalist and former high school basketball player, spent part of the summer of 1973 and all of the summer of 1974 in Brooklyn living the playground life with his subjects at Foster Park in Flatbush. He slept on the floor of a park regular’s apartment, observing, questioning, traveling and playing with, and eventually coaching a ragtag group of local teenagers whose hopes of better ...
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Overview


Heaven Is a Playground was the first book on the uniquely American phenomenon of urban basketball. Rick Telander, a young photojournalist and former high school basketball player, spent part of the summer of 1973 and all of the summer of 1974 in Brooklyn living the playground life with his subjects at Foster Park in Flatbush. He slept on the floor of a park regular’s apartment, observing, questioning, traveling and playing with, and eventually coaching a ragtag group of local teenagers whose hopes of better lives were often fanatically attached to the transcendent game itself.
 
At times little separates the author and his subjects, both of whom are emotionally linked by their passion for hoops. But as the summer unfolds and even superstars such as the legendary and incendiary Fly Williams are confronted with the realities of ghetto life and the sociological hurdles facing African American males, the joy of the game starts to be seen as the wispy pipe dream it often becomes. Written before cell phones, disposable cameras, and cable TV, Heaven Is a Playground is one of a kind—a funny, sad, ultimately inspiring book about Americans and the roots of the sport that they love.
 
In this third edition, thirty-five years after Telander discovered New York’s kings of basketball, the author provides a retrospective of the game and times.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

“Funny, sad, superbly written and intensely involving.”—New York Times Book Review
Atlantic

“Telander’s open-ended chronicle of inner-city playground basketball life is a model of clarity and restraint. No one has written a more resonant or understanding book about kids playing basketball, and few books about sports have willingly pulled together so many truths about the disappointments and dislocating fantasies of athletic competition.”—Atlantic
Chicago Daily News

“Even those who know little about the game should appreciate this intense and penetrating peek at growing up in the ghetto.”—Chicago Daily News
Atlantic

“Telander’s open-ended chronicle of inner-city playground baske

Chicago Daily News

“Even those who know little about the game should appreciate this intense and penetrating peek at growing up in the ghetto.”—Chicago Daily News

New York Times Book Review

“Funny, sad, superbly written and intensely involving.”—New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803226784
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Edition description: Third
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


A senior sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and ESPN: The Magazine, Rick Telander has won the Illinois Sportswriter of the Year Award six times in seven years, most recently in 2008. He is the author of eight books, including From Red Ink to Roses and In the Year of the Bull.
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