A vivid, heartrending stoW of a top athlete struggling to leave the glory road and find his own path, and a strong follow-up to Bennett's Dakota Dream (1994). At 18, Sonny Youngblood enters university on a basketball scholarship, having scored more points in high school than any other player in state history save one. Using flashbacks brilliantly, Bennett shows how Sonny has been molded into the perfect superachiever, totally driven and too naive to question the motives of the adults guiding him; a crew of NCAA investigators, an older cousin, and a trio of friends open Sonny's eyes. The ensuing personal reexamination turns up some painful surprises and culminates in a gory semiaccident in which Sonny loses any chance of a basketball career, but reclaims his life. Bennett displays profound knowledge of the game's history and play (nonfans will find the court sequences largely incomprehensible), plus the rare ability to create complex characters of both sexes; this is at once a set of penetrating psychological portraits and a sobering look at the pleasures and temptations of big-money athletics.