Tuesday, October 10

Check Out This Book: This Was Never About Basketball

I'm a huge basketball fan, so when offered the chance to read Craig Leener's debut novel This Was Never About Basketball, I naturally said yes. And I'm glad I did – it's quite the enjoyable read.

While there are certainly some basketball elements at play here, this is more of a coming of age book that looks at relationships, doing the right thing, and ultimately bettering yourself as a person. There are some sci-fi moments as well, bringing just a bit of surrealism into the fray.

Most importantly, this is simply a book that's tough to put down. I read it on an airplane - usually in that setting, I'm good for a chapter or two tops before I get tired. With This Was Never About Basketball, though, I found myself rapidly turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next.

Craig was also kind enough to appear on the latest episode of Locally Sourced Joey, chatting about the inspiration for the book, what his writing process is like, and a few of his favorite basketball moments.  

Check out the bio below for some additional details, and don't forget to pick up a copy. All proceeds during the month of October will be donated to those affected by the recent hurricanes that have impacted the country. Because after all, there's more to life than just basketball.

Seventeen-year-old high school basketball star Ezekiel “Zeke” Archer has it all: a sweet jump shot, a full-ride scholarship to a Midwestern basketball powerhouse, and the brightest future. But when Zeke’s temper gets the better of him in the city championship, he is expelled from school, has to forfeit his scholarship, and is left to ponder his once-hopeful future.

While finishing his final high school days in the California educational system’s version of purgatory, Zeke makes a stunning discovery. With the help of a young autistic classmate Zeke befriends, he learns that the mysterious 7th Dimension, which brought basketball to Earth more than a century ago, has decided to take the game away for good — all because of the ugly event Zeke set into motion in his final game!

As he embarks on the ultimate cross-country road trip to save basketball, Zeke must confront his unsettled past — including a father he’s not heard from in years and a brother fighting in a war half a world away — in order to set his life on the right path and rescue the game he loves. 

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