Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review of "Basketball Clown," by C. P. and O. B. Jackson

Review of
Basketball Clown, by C. P. and O. B. Jackson

Three out of five stars
 Fred Lyon is a guard on the Valley High School basketball team and the captain. Elroy Conklin is a large boy and when the story opens Fred is desperately trying to get Elroy to join the basketball team. With Elroy on the team, Fred thinks that they have a chance to win the championship. However, Elroy is a natural clown and has no initial interest in playing basketball.
 Fred is finally able to convince Elroy to join the team and he proves to be a natural, quickly becoming the best player on the team, if not the conference. Unfortunately, Elroy is unable to contain himself, making fun of opposing players and referees, leading to frustration on the part of Fred and the coach. The rules explicitly state that only the team captain and the coach can speak to the referees, yet Elroy cannot resist talking.
 The season moves along, and Valley High is one of the dominant teams in their conference, Fred’s prediction of a possible title seems to be coming true. Yet, there is significant dissension in the classroom and on the court that the team needs to overcome if they are to win the big game at the end. As captain, it is largely up to Fred to find the solution.
 Most readers will side with Fred in his struggles to rein in the on-court clowning  by Elroy, which simply goes beyond what any coach would tolerate. Elroy struggles to understand that there are times to play around and times where you must play with focus and discipline. This is a good story, but it simply takes too long for Elroy to understand what he can and cannot do on the court.

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