Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA

Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA

4.6 8
by Lance Allred
     
 

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Lance Allred was probably the last person you'd expect to make it in professional sports. Not only did he grow up on a polygamist commune in Montana, he struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. If those hurdles to the NBA don't seem large enough, Lance is also deaf.

Self-deprecating, witty, and wholly original, Longshot is the unlikely story of an

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Overview

Lance Allred was probably the last person you'd expect to make it in professional sports. Not only did he grow up on a polygamist commune in Montana, he struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. If those hurdles to the NBA don't seem large enough, Lance is also deaf.

Self-deprecating, witty, and wholly original, Longshot is the unlikely story of an unlikely athlete, who despite these factors and a lot of setbacks along the way, finally realized his dream of playing in the NBA, becoming the first legally deaf player in the league.

Lance refused to let others' expectations hinder his dreams, and his refreshing sense of humor about his disability allowed him to face these setbacks without giving up. From his childhood on the commune where he was "Mormon royalty" (his grandfather was prophet Rulon Allred of the fundamentalist sect) to his first time picking up a basketball (eighth grade), to his clumsy efforts to build his skills while growing into his 6' 11" frame, Longshot is a riveting account of a young man finding his purpose and letting the love of the game drive him toward his ultimate goal.

Going inside the competitive world of collegiate basketball and the strange experience of playing professionally in Europe, with paychecks that never arrive and a knee injury Lance's team didn't want to cover, Longshot recounts the moment when Lance hit rock bottom. When he came back to the United States for surgery, Lance was prepared to let go of his basketball dreams and become a high school history teacher like his dad.

But luckily he had an agent who didn't want to see Lance's dream die, and who found him a deal with the Idaho Stampede, an NBA Development League team in Boise. Although it was paltry pay, it was the last resort. And Lance slowly began to be noticed.

Revealing the resilient heart of a young man who truly believes that it's not about failure or success but about being willing to try, Longshot is a Rudy story for a new generation, a tale of inspiration, dedication, and the power of a dream.

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Editorial Reviews

Adrian Wojnarowski
In a devastatingly honest and poignant book of family, basketball and life, Lance Allred, the best writing big man ever, mesmerizes with a memoir born of the cruelty and inspiration of a game that could never hold him down.
Ian Thomsen
“Lance Allred is excruciatingly honest without ever feeling sorry for himself. His painful and hilarious odyssey is more inspiring and triumphant than the story of any NBA championship. Allred has written The Glass Castle of pro sports.”
Rudy Ruettiger
“Longshot is more than a remarkable sports story. It’s a reminder of how much can be accomplished when you never give up on a dream.”
Jim Morris
“What an incredible life. Lance’s story proves that the trials and tribulations he faced made him stronger.”
Dick Vitale
Longshot is a must read! It will inspire you and entertain you at the same time.
Kenny Mayne
“An inspiration for anyone who’s ever wanted to succeed at anything that appeared out of reach.”
Ric Bucher
“Hoosiers meets Big Love with a dash of Crime and Punishment. You will never look at an NBA player, particularly those at the end of the bench, the same way again.”
Yahoo! Sports
"He hasn’t just authored one of basketball’s most remarkable young lives, but a moving and funny memoir, ‘Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA,’ which was published in May."
Utah Standard-Examiner
“More than a story about how he beat the odds and wound up one of the best rebounders in the NCAA ... and then played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s a personal account of Allred’s struggle to rebound from challenges and make peace with himself.”
Yahoo Sports
“He hasn’t just authored one of basketball’s most remarkable young lives, but a moving and funny memoir, ‘Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA,’ which was published in May.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The book is more than just about Allred’s time in the NBA and in the D-League. It’s also about his time at the University of Utah and growing [in] a polygamist colony...”
Wall Street Journal Online
“A wry and inevitably dramatic autobiography...”
Boise Weekly
“Beyond writing about his life in the game of basketball, Allred honestly portrays his life story in such a way that readers may feel they are sharing his journey.”
The Salt Lake Tribune
“A fascinating read.”
Deseret News
“Much more than a feel-good, you-can-do-it-if-you-try chronicle. It is a gutwrenchingly honest account of a man whose story would be mesmerizing no matter what career path he chose.”
Cleveland Scene
“A harrowing and moving look at Allred’s life growing ... In 250 riveting pages, Allred honestly, breezily and often hilariously recounts his life . . . His personal and familial history alone is worth the read . . .”
Booklist
In an ingratiating, self-deprecating style...[Allred’s] is a genuinely unlikely story, but he relates it with humor, insight, and compassion.
Salt Lake City Weekly
“In the land of recycled and formulaic sports bios, this book by a deaf, fundamentalist Mormon kid is definitely worth a read.”
Davis County Clipper
“If interesting life experiences are the mark of a good autobiography, then Lance Allred has a good head start.”
Sports Illustrated
“If there’s a prototypical path to a hoops career, Lance Allred didn’t take it. He’s not an NBA giant, but Allred’s memoir is inspiring.”
Publishers Weekly

Allred played basketball with the University of Utah, then Weber State, before eventually joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008, and recounts in folksy, unpretentious prose his long, arduous dream fulfilled to make the NBA. Rendered mostly deaf as an infant, possibly from complications due to his Rh blood incompatibility with his mother, Allred grew up in a fundamentalist polygamist commune in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, founded by his own grandfather who was escaping government persecution for his pluralist beliefs. Infighting among the incestuous group members eventually drove the author's family out, and they settled in Salt Lake City. There the author, who grew to be 6'11", suffering from asthma, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and equipped with hearing aids, began to excel in high school basketball. Recruited on scholarship to Utah, he played three years under the brutally exacting coach, Rick Majerus, only to feel his sense of self slowly extinguished by the coach's abusive practices. Allred's voice is humorously self-deprecating and youthfully winning. Frank about his shortcomings (he had to scrounge for professional gigs in Turkey and elsewhere before hitting a spot in the NBA), he delivers an accessible, competent narrative, with highly unusual details about his Mormon roots. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
One of the NBA's unlikeliest players recounts his long, strange path to the pros. Allred isn't the first fundamentalist Mormon to play on professional basketball's biggest stage, but he was the first legally deaf player in the league, and he might have the most inimitable back story. The grandson of revered "prophet" Rulon Allred, founder of a polygamist commune in Pinesdale, Mont., the author grew up in a household with only one mother while his friends had several. After tensions within the community forced his family to flee, they settled with relatives in Utah, where Allred dealt with the double stigma of coming from a polygamist community and being almost entirely deaf. Basketball, however, proved an ideal outlet for the 6'11" teen; it didn't require perfect hearing and productively channeled his rapidly growing obsessive-compulsive disorder. His hard work was rewarded with a scholarship to play for the University of Utah, his favorite college team. That experience ended abruptly during his sophomore year, when verbally abusive coach Rick Majerus allegedly made disparaging remarks about Allred's handicap. After transferring to Weber State and battling his OCD, Allred completed his collegiate eligibility and became a basketball vagabond, accepting offers to play with professional teams in Turkey, France and Spain. Injuries, shady contracts and inconsistent playing dogged him at every stop, and he nearly threw in the towel before signing a $12,000 contract with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA's developmental league. All ended well when Allred impressed scouts and earned a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming a rookie in the NBA at age 27. His narrative suffers from an identitycrisis: Is it a polygamy expose, inspirational story of triumph over adversity, Paul Shirley-esque tale of a basketball outsider, personal journal or basketball chronicle? All of the above, it turns out, and that makes it a welcome departure from cookie-cutter sports autobiographies. Unfocused but unique. Author appearances in New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Denver, Salt Lake City

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061718588
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Jim Morris
“What an incredible life. Lance’s story proves that the trials and tribulations he faced made him stronger.”
Adrian Wojnarowski
In a devastatingly honest and poignant book of family, basketball and life, Lance Allred, the best writing big man ever, mesmerizes with a memoir born of the cruelty and inspiration of a game that could never hold him down.
Rudy Ruettiger
“Longshot is more than a remarkable sports story. It’s a reminder of how much can be accomplished when you never give up on a dream.”
Ian Thomsen
“Lance Allred is excruciatingly honest without ever feeling sorry for himself. His painful and hilarious odyssey is more inspiring and triumphant than the story of any NBA championship. Allred has written The Glass Castle of pro sports.”
Ric Bucher
“Hoosiers meets Big Love with a dash of Crime and Punishment. You will never look at an NBA player, particularly those at the end of the bench, the same way again.”
Kenny Mayne
“An inspiration for anyone who’s ever wanted to succeed at anything that appeared out of reach.”
Dick Vitale
Longshot is a must read! It will inspire you and entertain you at the same time.

Read More

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