Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review of "Hardcourt Comeback," by Fred Bowen

Review of

Hardcourt Comeback, by Fred Bowen ISBN 9781561455164

Four out of five stars

Brett Carter is a star on his youth basketball team, called the Wildcats. However, when he misses a simple layup shot at a critical time, his confidence on the court largely disappears. Furthermore, when he is at his best friend’s birthday party that is held at a location where there is a climbing wall, he freezes in panic on the wall and has to be rescued.

 The main plot thread is how Brett manages to come back from his loss of confidence to once again be a star of his team. There is a big game at the end where Brett is involved in a climactic moment. To his credit, Bowen does not follow the usual path to the conclusion of the Wildcats’ season. The action keeps your interest and it is easy to empathize with Brett as he struggles to overcome his unexpected and complicated fears.

 A fact of sports history is used to emphasize the point that one mistake or missed shot will only make or break a career if the player making the error lets it happen. In the last seconds of the 1993 NCAA championship game, All-American Chris Webber tried to call a timeout when his team had none left. The resultant technical foul all but sealed his team’s defeat. Yet, Webber went on to star for many years in the NBA because he refused to let that mistake define him. This is a good example to use in the education of young players.

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