The Outside Shot

The Outside Shot

4.2 11
by Walter Dean Myers
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

When Lonnie Jackson leaves Harlem for a basketball scholarship to a midwestern college, he know he must keep his head straight and his record clean. That's the only way he'll have a chance of making it to the pros someday.

But his street smarts haven't prepared him for the pressures of tough classes, high-stakes college ball, and the temptation to fix games for

Overview

When Lonnie Jackson leaves Harlem for a basketball scholarship to a midwestern college, he know he must keep his head straight and his record clean. That's the only way he'll have a chance of making it to the pros someday.

But his street smarts haven't prepared him for the pressures of tough classes, high-stakes college ball, and the temptation to fix games for local gamblers. Everyone plays by a whole new set of rules — including Sherry, who's determined to be a track star. Her independence attracts Lonnie, but their on-again, off-again relationship is driving him crazy.

Lonnie has one year to learn how to make it as a "college man." It's his outside shot at a bright future. Does he have what it takes?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440967842
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
12/28/1986
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
228,466
Product dimensions:
4.53(w) x 6.79(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

“Hey Lonnie, what you doing round here? Thought you was supposed to be going off to some college?” Sister Boone, from the church my mother went to, was fanning herself as she sat on a wooden chair in front of one of the brownstones down the block from where I lived. She was fat, and she leaned her head back so the breeze from the fan would get at the fold in her neck.
 
“I got about an hour before I leave for the airport,” I said.
 
“Well, you take care of yourself and keep your mind on Jesus,” she said. “You hear me?”
 
“Yes, ma’am.”
 
“What you doing, takin’ you a last look around this old raggedy neighborhood?”
 
“Be a long time before I see it again,” I said.
 
“You ain’t missing much,” she said, pulling her dress away from where the sweat made it stick to her leg. “Where ’bout you going?”
 
“Montclare State,” I said, “that’s in Indiana. It’s a pretty small school.”
 
“I don’t care how small it is,” she said, looking up the street. “Jesus out there same as he’s here. You keep your mind on him and don’t be doing nothing to shame yourself. Go on, now.”
 
A junkie was nodding out on the corner. He saw me coming and tried to pull his manhood together until I passed, but couldn’t quite get it together. Some guys were sitting in front of the bodega playing dominoes. A dog curled in a little knot under the table, with only his tail moving when the domino players slammed a piece down on the table. Everything had it’s place. I never figured mine to be in no Indiana, though.
 
I had been playing ball most of my life, mostly because it was a thing I could do. Then a dude named Cal Jones had got me and some other guys from around the way in this tournament where a coach from Montclare saw me. He said I had a nice game even though I was a little rough around the edges. A week later I got a letter saying that if I graduated high school I could get a full scholarship. Everybody was running down how wonderful it was, and I guess it was, because it was what I had been hoping for. I was a little uptight about it, though, because I didn’t know how I’d do in Indiana.
 
By the time I said my last good-byes to the people in my mother’s apartment building and started for the airport I chilled out a little, but not much. My moms went with me to the airport and we went through one of them things about not knowing what to say to each other. She was boohooing and whatnot and it almost got to me but I caught myself.
 
“You go out there and play good and do what they tell you,” she said.
 
Moms was okay. She didn’t know boo about no basketball, but she was okay.
 
I had to change planes in Indianapolis and the plane I switched to was one of them little numbers that bounce around something terrible. I thought I was going to throw up a couple of times but the chick that sat next to me was so cool she calmed me down. Hitting the ground was on the money, just the same.
 
The letter from the school had said that someone would meet me at the airport. Time I got out of the bathroom and found my bags a short, stocky guy had come up to me and asked if I was Lonnie Jackson.
 
“Yeah,” I said.
 
He shook my hand like maybe he didn’t want to or something, told me his name was Clayton Leeds, and then told me to follow him to his car.
 
I wanted to talk to the guy, to start off on a friendly basis, but he acted as if he didn’t want to talk so I didn’t say much.
 
We got to the college and I was surprised. I had thought it would look something like City College in New York, just another building in a regular neighborhood, but it wasn’t. It looked like one of those schools you see in the movies with lots of grass and ivy on the walls of the buildings. We passed some students, all white, before we stopped in front of a red brick building.
 
“This is Orly Hall, where you’ll be staying,” Leeds said. “It’s the second floor, room two twenty. There’s practice tomorrow morning at nine. You need anything tonight?”
 
I heard myself saying no and a moment later I was struggling up the stairs with my bags.
 
I found room two twenty and knocked on the door. I heard a voice, a loud noise as if someone had banged into something, then the door opened. The guy that opened it was blond and blue-eyed and about an inch or so taller than me. He was thin with wide shoulders and a broad neck that made you think he was bigger than he was.
 
“I’m Lonnie Jackson,” I said. “I’m supposed to be staying in here.”
 
“Oh, come in,” he said, holding out his hand. “I’m Colin Young.”
 
I shook his hand and then brought my bags in. It was a large room with four beds, two on one wall and two on the other. I could see a bathroom in one comer and, on the far wall, a small refrigerator. There were pennants all over the wall. Most of them were old and faded from years ago.
 
“You alone?” Colin asked. He had a funny accent, one I hadn’t heard before.
 
“Yeah, a guy picked me up at the station-what’s his name-”
 
“Leeds?” Colin asked.
 
“Leeds, yeah, that’s it. He just dropped me off at the front steps.”
 
“That’s like him,” Colin said. “He’s the assistant coach. Where you from?”
 
“New York.”
 
“I’m from a little town in Illinois called Cisne,” Colin said. “I’ve got some Cokes in the fridge, why don’t you grab a seat and relax.”
 
“How long you been here?” I asked as Colin went to the refrigerator to get the Cokes. The refrigerator was so small he had to get on his knees to find them. He handed me one.
 
“Almost a week,” he answered, popping his can. “I got here first, then Juice and Sly.”
 
“Who?”
 
“Juice is from Gary, Indiana,” Colin said. “Sly’s from Detroit. They seem to be pretty nice guys. We’re the only new guys here. Everybody else either played last year or they were redshirting.”
 
“What’s that?”
 
“Redshirting?” Colin sat on the bed and crossed his legs at the ankle. “Say they have four good guards, right?”
 
“Okay.”
 
“And they’re all in the same year. That means they all can’t play on the first team and they’ll all leave together and you won’t have any new guards because you can’t recruit a good new guard and sit him on the bench for three years. So they make one or two guys sit out the year so they have another year of eligibility left when the other guards graduate. They practice with the team and everything but they have to wear different uniforms because they’re not officially with the team. They say most schools have them.”
 
“That’s new to me,” I said.
 
“There are a lot of things here I never heard of,” Colin said, shaking his head. “You eat anything?”
 
“Not since the airplane.”
 
“We can go down later and get something from the coffee shop,” Colin said. “It’s open most of the night.”
 
“You smell something burning?” I asked.
 
A thin wisp of smoke was coming up from the wastepaper basket. Colin ran over to it and dumped it on the floor. The paper went up in a blaze.
 
“What happened, man?” I took a step backwards. “Oh, sweat, I got a fire started.”
 
“I can see that.”
 
Colin started trying to stamp out the fire, and I helped him. It took about two or three minutes to get the last of the smoldering paper extinguished.
 
“What you do-put a cigarette or something in there?” I asked.
 
“When I heard you knock on the door I thought that maybe Leeds was with you,” Colin said. “I heard he was going to pick up another player today and, you know, we’re not supposed to smoke during the school year.”
 
I watched Colin try to get all the charred paper back into the basket. He went into the bathroom, wet a washcloth, and started wiping it up. I got another washcloth and gave the guy a hand.
 
“Appreciate it,” Colin said. “I really do. You just breathe hard around here and Leeds is all over you.”
 
“Oh, yeah? What kind of ball do they play?” I asked. “I don’t know.” Colin said. He opened the window to let the room air out. “Leeds has this calculator and he adds up everything you do. You get a rebound, Leeds puts that down. You shoot, he puts that down, then he gives all the numbers to Coach Teufel and he figures them out on his calculator.”
 
“Yeah, yeah, but how do they play ball?” I asked again. “They go for one on one, they go for outside shooting? You know what I mean?”
 
“Hey, I know what you mean, but I swear I don’t know what kind of ball they play,” Colin said. “All they talk about is, you have to have so many of each thing according to your position. Me, I’m playing forward, so I got to have six rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and ten points, every game. That’s what the coach says.”
 
“Well, that don’t make much sense to me, man. We played a lot of one on one where I came from, but this guy I knew, he was saying that this kind of school don’t play a lot of one on one.”
 
“Maybe, maybe not,” Colin said. “I played on this high school team over in Cisne and we just went out and did the best we could. Didn’t do a whole lot of talking about how we were playing or anything. The ones that could shoot did that and everybody else did what they could do.”
 
“I guess I’ll find out,” I said. “You seen any of these ... what you call these cats? What kind of shirts they wear?”
 
“Redshirts.”
 
“Yeah, you see any of them play?”
 
“Uh-huh. They’re okay,” Colin said. “I mean, they’re not special or anything, but that’s not what gets you when you’re practicing.”
 
“What you mean?”
 
“Everybody knows them and they don’t know us,”
 
Colin said. “They know the plays and everything. The way I figure, they’re checking us out the same way we’re checking them out.”
 
“You like it here?”
 
“Sure,” Colin grinned. “It beats hanging around Cisne waiting for somebody to come along with a job. I’ll tell you one thing, though. If I were looking for a place to play ball for fun, this place sure wouldn’t be on the top of my list.”
 
“That’s the way it seems,” I said. “Where do you put your clothes?”
 
“Juice and Sly share that dresser over there,” Colin said, “and you and me can take this one. I have my stuff in the top two drawers.”
 
“Okay.”
 
“That closet over there is for all of us, it’s big enough to walk around in. They take the right side-”
 
“And we got the left,” I said.
 
“Most of the stuff ends up on the floor,” Colin said. “Or we kick it under the bed to make the room look neater.”
 
“Looks like Sly and juice don’t kick hard enough,” I said. There had to be a half-dozen shirts lying between their beds.
 
“Hey, can I ask you a question?”
 
“Yeah, go ahead, man,” I said. I opened my suitcase and started taking my things out.
 
“You said you were from New York, right?”
 
“Uh-huh.” I hung up my suit.
 
“You from Harlem?”
 
“Yeah, that’s right. Hey, I thought you said you put your clothes on the left side.”
 
“Well, that’s all I got,” Colin said. “I got more, but they’re just about the same thing. You don’t need a whole lot of clothes living on a farm.”
 
“What’s it like living in... where did you say you come from?”
 
“Illinois. Cisne, Illinois.”
 
“Yeah, what’s it like living there?”
 
“I don’t know, really,” Colin said. “It’s the only place I’ve ever lived. It’s okay, I guess.”
 
“Like Harlem,” I said.
 
“How you figure like Harlem?” Colin asked me. “You ever been to Cisne?”
 
“No. But Harlem is the only place I’ve ever lived.”
 
“Well, what we have is ten acres of played-out land,” Colin said. “We tried to make a go of it, but it never did work out.”
 
“What you mean played-out?” I asked.
 
“Can’t grow anything on it,” Colin said.
 
“What’s it made of, rock?”
 
“Might as well be. You know anything about farming?”
 
“Nope.”
 
“Well, you can’t grow things in just any kind of dirt. You take sand, for example. You can’t grow a thing in sand because it doesn’t have anything to give to the plants. You keep growing crop after crop on a piece of land and after a while it just doesn’t have anything left.”
 
“Couldn’t you put something on it?” I sat down on the bed. The dude was kind of interesting. “You know, like some vitamins or something?”
 
“That’s like giving aspirin to a dead man,” Colin said. “The funny thing was that we knew it wasn’t going to work out, you know what I mean? But we kept working the land and working it until the bank came and told us that if we had anything worth taking, they would have taken it. We didn’t have a damn thing worth taking. Almost killed Dad. That farm was the only thing he had in this world to give me.”
 
“No lie?”
 
“Gospel truth.”
 
I looked at Colin for a long moment and then went back putting my clothes in the closet. I had never seen a white cat this poor before.
 
“You think living in Harlem was about the same as living in Illinois?” Colin asked after a while.
 
“I don’t know, man. You’re white. There’s no excuse for you being that poor.”
 
“Oh, no?” Colin shook his head and laughed. “You know I told God that once.”

Meet the Author

1937–2014
Walter Dean Myers’s fiction and nonfiction books have reached millions of young people. A prolific author of more than one hundred titles, he received every major award in the field of children’s literature. He wrote two Newbery Honor Books, eleven Coretta Scott King Award winners, three National Book Award finalists, and the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. He also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and was the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was a 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award numerous times. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature with the platform “Reading is not optional.” In his most-beloved books, Walter explored the themes of taking responsibility for your life and that everyone always gets a second chance.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Outside Shot (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
isis sapp-grant More than 1 year ago
I like his books because there's so much to learn from them. The things that go on in his stories are real for some people,the things that come to most people in life can be much harder for others to achieve.It teaches you to be grateful for what you are blessed enough to have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Book I read was "the outside shot" by Walter Dean Myers. It's about a young adult named Lonnie Jackson, he gets drafted to play college Basketball at a mid-western college. When he gets to college, he meets a room mate named Colin Young and they become best friends. So through out the book he starts running into lots of problems. He meets a girl named Sherry and she ends up as his girl friend, then their off and on. Then he starts to blow off his basketball games because he gambles on them, His grades start to fall. Then he's trying to be a role modle for this kid named Eddie. He gets in a fight with his coach and can't play. Just alot of drama in the book. But if you want to know what happends at the end of the book you have to read The outside Shot. But you have to read Hoops to understand The Outside shot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chris Donabedian Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Period 4 Hoops By Walter Dean Myers This book is mainly about how seventeen year old Lonnie Jackson of Harlem believed in himself and came out a champion. Lonnie Jackson, a 17 year old black guy, isn't that well educated so he uses a lot of slang and cursing words. The word he uses the most is ain¿t. He makes people feel awful about themselves because he didn¿t have a very good childhood. He also doesn¿t know a variety of vocabulary because he was in a conversation with a smart man and he didn¿t know half the words he was saying. I think that he really needs to get a better education. Lonnie Jackson is pretty good about dressing himself. He usually dresses himself in basketball clothes but he wears normal shoes (not basketball shoes). He tries to find clothing from the NY Knicks which is his favorite basketball team. He sags his shorts extremely low and they look like they are coming off. His girlfriend, Mary-Ann, hates that he does that. She always tries to pull them up for him but he just curses at her. If he got his act together, he would look a lot better than he does. Lonnie has some serious problems in his head. He always thinks of killing the people that he hates like Tyrone and his gang because Tyrone keeps beating up his coach Cal. He thinks about Cal a lot like how he is doing because he always disappears for days at a time. In addition, Lonnie is always thinking of what Mary-Ann and Lonnie would become if they stayed together. He thinks that they should be together and he also thinks that they shouldn¿t be together. He is a pretty smart person but just needs to stop thinking about killing other people. Because he treats people poorly they are pretty rude back to him. At the end of the story he almost got killed defending his friend when he was jumped by some guys. They started beating on each other and he got stabbed by a man with a knife. Although he got beat up Mary-Ann treats him like a god. She does whatever he says to do just like a servant. Cal is pretty nice to Lonnie but only because he has to be. Lonnie is a pretty fine kid but can be a very dreadful kid at the same time. Lonnie Jackson is getting into a lot of mischief lately like stealing stuff from the liquor store by his work and getting knifed by his enemies. He got knifed because he was trying to protect his good friend Cal and he stole stuff from the liquor store because he needed the cash. He also treats the community like they are his slaves. He tries to manipulate them to think he is superior even though he isn¿t. He is a pretty smart person, though. Lonnie Jackson is a really smart kid that needs help to control his anger and get his life on track. Chris Donabedian Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Period 4 Hoops By Walter Dean Myers Mood The book Hoops has a very disturbing mood throughout the whole story. The mood is disturbing because it takes place in the ghetto where people rob and beat people who didn¿t do anything to them. The main character, Lonnie Jackson, and his good friend Cal get jumped by a few people that work at a club. In addition, another friend Ox gets shot near the beginning of this story for stealing from his boss. There is also a happy mood in this story because Lonnie¿s basketball team comes from behind to win an extremely important game which was on the news. They came back from 18 points and won the game by only 1 point. It¿s a pretty inspirational book for anyone who likes basketball. Setting The book takes place in Harlem. Harlem is a poor part of New York City. It takes place mostly in the daytime but some of the book is at night. The weather was perfect throughout the whole story. Most of the action takes place while the main character, Lonnie Jackson, is playing basketball. It¿s pretty horrifying in the beginni
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lonnie Jackson gets recruited to play basketball for Monteclare university. When he gets there he has a hard time getting used to college life. He has todeal with school work, girls, and basketball. He meets a girl named Sherry who helps him with his problems. During the games Coach Leeds is hard on him. He also has to help Eddy with his condition. This is a story of triumph and caring for others. I liked this book because as an athelete I can relate to Lonnie. I understand the troubles he was going through with school. any athelete can relate to this book and find something you have incommon with this book. I would recommend The Outside Shot by Walter Dean Meyers to any athelete. Especially basketball players. This book shows the life struggles of Lonnie and his team.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is good and very interesting and if you like basketball i will reccomend this book to you
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read 'The Outside Shot' by Walter Dean Myers. Myers has written another great basketball novel. This book is about a kid in Harlem, New York who gets a scholarship to a college in Indiana. Lonnie faces many challenges at Monteclare. He is short on cash, he is trying to make the basketball team, he has a crush on a girl and so much more. I reccomend this book to any b-ball lover, it will sure intrest you.The outside shot is the sequal to Hoops, Slam! is also a basketball book written by Walter Dean Myers. This story is told on Lonnie's point of veiw. Myers really knows how to put yourself in someone elses shoes who really loves basketball. Mike A
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absuloutely AMAZING, its about a kid named Lonnie who goes to college and plays ball along the way he gets in to some trouble falls in love and is a hero
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great sequel to hoops and inspired me to try and get a scholarship in Basketball. It was humorous and taught that basketball was not a one-man game. I enjoyed Collin, Lonnie roommate in college because he stuck with him. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is meant for you people to read. It is a book that people would love to read, because it touches the soul, and the feelings of young teenagers. I am a young teenager only a sophmore, and I love to play basketball. I've been playing since I was in the 7th grade and I continued to play until my freshmen year. I couldn't play my sophmore year because I hurt my arm in an accident, but starting my junior year I will be back again. I've been startin since I was in the 7th grade. I played J.V., and varsity as a freshmen. I hope to go on and succeed, so that I can get a scholarship to go to school and play basketball.
DhErMaN More than 1 year ago
Walter Dean Myers is one of the worst authors. I read Hoops. Within the first 10 pages, I hated it. I read Briefcase (one of his short stories). Ridiculous. I would NOT want to read anymore of his ridiculous slang, and ridiculous names. Example: For a guy who just shot a little girl, his name is Pookie. Not kidding. Walter Dean Myers can't write, so don't read this.