REBOUND MAN by Burgess Leonard


Email this review


A sports writer who combines human interest themes with active athletics has chosen a timely topic in depicting the trials of desegregation in a small southern community. The hero, Ross undsford, is distracted from the challenge of the basketball court by the repeated attacks and threats on his Negro friend Wade Davis, recently admitted to the integrated Grays Chapel High School. Wilkie Devers, the leader of the opposition, is a teammate of Ross' and a wild hotrodder. While Ross is criticized for not playing team ball, Wade is suspended from school while the school board is given a chance to consider his re-admittance. Ross' dual role as champion of the Negro boy and key player of the Mountaineers seems incompatible until a disaster becomes a blessing in disguise. Because of Wilkie Devers, the school bus which Ross drives part-time is overturned and with Wade's help all the children are saved. Wilkie's remorse, his allegation that the thrill, not bigotry, was his goal, along with the contrived melodrama, may be far-fetched for the realists. But there is enough value in the point of view and enough sports action to distinguish this from the run-of-the-mill tale.

Pub Date: July 18th, 1962
Publisher: Watts