THE ROAD TO BLUE HEAVEN by Wes Miller

THE ROAD TO BLUE HEAVEN

An Insider’s Diary of North Carolina’s 2007 Basketball Season

KIRKUS REVIEW

Former Tar Heel basketball player chronicles his senior season.

There’s little question that this 5’11” point guard with limited athletic ability offers an impressive feel-good sports story. Growing up in North Carolina, heart of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and home to some of the nation’s most storied college basketball programs, Miller longed for nothing more than a chance to play Division I basketball. After playing his freshman year at mid-major James Madison University, he elected to transfer to Chapel Hill, where he made the team as a walk-on and was a part of UNC’s 2005 national championship–winning team. During his junior season, he was awarded a scholarship and became a regular starter in a program laden with NBA prospects. The perfect team player, Miller willingly accepted a lesser role during his senior year as more talent arrived, focusing instead on setting an example for his younger teammates. Unfortunately, the same traits that make him such a sterling example of college athletics’ special character make his week-by-week recounting of a season that ended one victory shy of a Final Four berth unrelentingly monotonous. There are moments of levity, when he recounts the unique way in which star forward Tyler Hansbrough and his brother communicate on the phone (complete with Hansbrough repeatedly yelling, “Snake Diesel!”), or the entertaining antics of Eric Hoots, the team’s video coordinator. On balance, though, the book is too heavy on aw-shucks modesty and saccharine praise for head coach Roy Williams, too light on the kind of insider information necessary to make this type of narrative appealing. Miller’s polite reserve and passion for basketball make him ideally suited for coaching, but not for delivering the juicy goods on a legendary basketball institution.

Of interest to the legions of Carolina fans, but others should wait until the season starts to get their basketball fix.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933648-57-6
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Pegasus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2007




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