BLACK HOOPS by Fredrick L.  McKissack Jr.


The History of African Americans in Basketball
Age Range: 12 - 14
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Reading like a long term paper, this dry, abstract recitation of teams and players brings neither the game nor the people who played and are playing it to life. McKissack (with Patricia C. McKissack, Black Diamond, 1994, not reviewed, etc.) opens with a chapter on basketball’s invention and original rules, closes with a look at women’s basketball, and in between chronicles the growth of amateur, college, and pro ball, adding clipped quotes, technical observations about changing styles of play and vague comments about how players black and white respected each other. The information is evidently drawn entirely from previously published books and interviews. A modest selection of black-and-white photographs give faces to some of the many names the author drops, but readers won’t find much more about individual players beyond an occasional biographical or statistical tidbit. McKissack frequently points to parallels in the history of African Americans in basketball and in baseball, but this account comes off as sketchy and unfocused compared to Black Diamond. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-590-48712-4
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999


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