Friday, February 7, 2020

Review of "Full Court Fever," by Fred Bowen

Review of

Full Court Fever, by Fred Bowen, ISBN 9781561455089

Four out of five stars

 This book is a combination of a story about a seventh grade basketball team and a lesson in the history of basketball. Michael Mancino is in seventh grade and the basketball season is about to start. The team will play a full season and then after that the seventh grade team will play the eighth grade team.

Michael’s team is small and quick and when the season starts, they find themselves incapable of handling teams with taller players and lose. When he gets a gift certificate, Michael finds some old copies of “Sports Illustrated” magazine that describe the UCLA Bruins basketball team in the early sixties. The team had no tall players so Coach John Wooden installed a constant and relentless full-court press and they won their first NCAA championship under Wooden. From the magazines, Michael learns how to execute the press and his teammates install it as a full-game strategy and their team fortunes change.

 The story flows very well with little in the way of material other than that related to basketball. There are girls, but their role is primarily to staff the girls’ team of the school. The big game at the end is when they play the annual game where the seventh graders go up against the eighth graders. A very nice touch is the inclusion of a tall transfer student from Nigeria. Although his game is soccer and he knows almost nothing about basketball, the new boy becomes part of the team.

 This is an easy read, one to get into late at night when you are slowly putting your mind to bed.

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