The Real Slam Dunkby Charisse K. Richardson, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)
Marcus Robinson is psyched! Tomorrow, his class is going on a field trip to a professional basketball arena to meet the one and only Jason Carter, Marcus's hero. Marcus usually ignores everything except for basketball, but this time he studies for hours to win the math contest-for the prize of being the official Jason Carter greeter! But when Jason tells Marcus
Marcus Robinson is psyched! Tomorrow, his class is going on a field trip to a professional basketball arena to meet the one and only Jason Carter, Marcus's hero. Marcus usually ignores everything except for basketball, but this time he studies for hours to win the math contest-for the prize of being the official Jason Carter greeter! But when Jason tells Marcus some things he didn't expect to hear about professional basketball, Marcus is confused. He thought that all he'd ever need in life was basketball. Thanks to Jason, Marcus is about to learn the meaning of a real slam dunk.
Read an Excerpt
Marcus took a closer look at the basketball court. His gaze locked on the orange circle in the center. It looked like a giant basketball squished flat and tattooed on the wood. He imagined Jason standing there at tip-off with his hands reaching into the air, as if he were grasping for heaven. Then Marcus looked at the basketball goals. Each one looked so tiny. He imagined Jason swirling around like a ballerina and smashing the ball through the little rim all in the blink of an eye.
Rusty walked past the railing onto the court.
“Can we go out there?” Marcus asked.
“Of course,” Rusty said, nodding.
“This is the best field trip ever,” Marcus whispered to Juan. He hurried to the sidelines with the rest of his class. But he stopped just short of the court. With one more step, he would be standing on Jason Carter’s turf. That was special territory.
Marcus took a deep breath and carefully placed his right foot down. Screech! The bottom of his Fly Carters let out a loud noise. The sound startled him. He quickly brought his left foot down before he lost his balance. Screech! The floor cried out again. Then the noise became louder and louder as pairs of his classmates’ sneakers skidded onto the court.
The noise reminded Marcus of the squeaky-clean sound of glass cleaner being wiped off windows.
Finally the noise stopped, and everyone grew quiet. Marcus tiptoed to the center of the court. He could see his reflection in the floor.
It must have taken hours to polish these floors, he thought to himself. He wanted to dash to the free-throw line. But Marcus was scared to mess up the floor’s sparkle. After all, his mother didn’t let him slide around on their shiny dining room floor at home.
Bright lights suddenly beamed down on the court. Marcus knew that was his moment to shine. He quickly lifted his hands high in the air. His hands were grasping the ball he was saving for Jason Carter. Then Marcus imagined the crowd screaming his name. He raised up on the balls of his feet and stretched his body toward the basket. Just as Marcus was about to shoot the ball, he heard thundering footsteps.
“Who is that on my playground, ground, ground...?” a hollow voice cried out and echoed into the bleachers.
The deep voice startled the kids. Marcus wobbled on his tiptoes as he stood in perfect position to release his shot.
Meet the Author
Charisse K. Richardson, an avid sports fan since she was a child, uses sports to capture the reading interests of children. She is a member of the NBA Read to Achieve All-Star Reading Team. Charisse, a former Corporate Communications Manager, graduated from Howard University and received her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to writing, she conducts motivational workshops designed to encourage youth to strive for success in the game of life. She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Twins Marcus and Mia as well as other students at their school look forward to meeting superstar basketball player Jason Carter just before a pro game. Both enjoy playing the game and Marcus, who is a math whiz, hopes to be as good as his hero Jason. His sister wants to be a reporter and is writing an article on the visit with Jason. The kids have good time while Jason encourages them to understand that there is more to life than sports as he was a chemistry major in college................... THE REAL SLAM DUNK is a well written tale aimed at elementary school children. Young readers will appreciate Marcus as he worries that Mia is taller than him and how to behave when he meets his hero. The story line makes no apologies in that it emphasizes education is more important of a dream although it is okay to want to be a famous wealthy basketball player. This reviewer kept thinking of Mrs. Reagan¿s unrealistic ¿Just say no¿ campaign as Jason preached having dreams outside the hardwood floor............................... Harriet Klausner