GLORY DAYS by Bill Reynolds


On Sports, Men, Memory, and Dreams That Don't Die
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A high-school basketball star and standout at Brown University in the 1960s, Reynolds came face-to-face with the realization that he wasn’t as good an he’d hoped, that, despite all the hard work and dedication, his dream of playing in the pros was just that: a dream. As Reynolds (Big Hoops, 1989, etc.) grew up in Rhode Island, his life was defined by the game of basketball. The 6’3”, high-scoring forward believed all the coaches’ clichÇs about hard work and persistence. His hometown high-school team lost in the state quarter-finals his senior year, but the adulation, camaraderie of the locker room, and the special treatment followed him through a year at a private academy, where he went in hopes of qualifying academically for college. It worked, despite his flunking his courses: “A kindly man with a soft crinkly face” gave him a “transcript” showing he’d passed. It wasn’t long before he was on academic probation at Brown; but that scarcely interfered with playing basketball. Following a terrible loss against Princeton in the winter of 1968, he realized that it was all over, that he had to face life without basketball. But his career as an English teacher and assistant coach at his old school was short-lived. He’d begun to resent the hold the game had on him and that he’d “been naive enough to swallow all of it.” Reynolds drifted in and out of the counterculture of the times and from job to job doing freelance reporting. At 33, he was broke, “spending too many nights in bars . . . too many nights telling the same stories.” He decided he had to get himself together, to get back into shape by playing pickup games—where he finally learned to love playing basketball. A bang-up job by Reynolds. For all the failed Little Leaguers and average high-school and college jocks this is “the real story of sports in America.”

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18105-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1998


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