Tapped for an international junior tournament, a small-town high school basketball star goes one-on-one with a hostile teammate and with his own fears. Jim Doyle arrives in training camp to discover that he's already on inner-city star Augustus LeMay's bad side: partly for edging out Augustus's cousin, mostly for being white. Jim proves himself and it's off to face Europe's best, but the excitement that carries him through the early rounds turns to dread after the team receives a death threat. In a melodramatic happy ending, the characters all get what they need: Seconds after sinking an impossible winning shot, Jim takes a terrorist's bullet; he wakes up to find Augustus's contempt replaced by respect, and, more importantly, his fear of failing burned away. Though the contrast between Jim's naâ€¹vetâ€š and his teammate's mean-streets bitterness is sometimes overdone, Klass (California Blue, 1994, etc.) makes Jim's apprehension, fueled by unhappy memories, seem very real, and the final game with Spain is one of the most enthralling climaxes in recent sports fiction. The plot runs a predictable, tried-and-true course, but the author festoons it with frank, thoughtful observations about fathers and sons, city versus small town values, race, friendship, and courage.