BIG MAN by Jay Neugeboren


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Big Man is a crisply written, fast-moving story about an All-American Negro basketball star who is caught in the college basketball fixes of 1951-52. Five years later Mack Davis is working in a carwash, living just for the weekend when he can work out in a neighborhood schoolyard with the new younger players. His prospects take an upward turn when a sports writer named Rosen re-opens his case in his column. Rosen almost convinces Mack that an anti-trust case can be made out against the NBA for their prohibitions against the players caught in the point-fixing scandal. At the same time Mack becomes involved with a completely kooky waitress from the Village who is herself a basketball buff and sometimes player. In fact, disguised as a man, Willa (who, as an indication of her identity confusion, has a son named Willie) makes a highly unlikely but amusing appearance as Mack's teammate in a championship game played for B'nai B'rith. The community center is the end of the line for Mack: Rosen's ""case"" falls through and Willa tells him to move on. The character of Mack Davis does not lend itself to any searching probes (""I did it for the money, what they think?"") but his author is a skillful writer who has made good use of his material.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1966
ISBN: 061807922X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin