Share After a long, tortuous summer filled with sunny days and absolutely no NBA news of any importance, the season is set to kick off.
Enrolled on a basketball scholarship at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, far from his near-border home, Matt was challenged to embark on an odyssey of learning in his sophomore year by Professor Heather Mayne.
His education at the University of the Pacific changed his life because of the professors' interactions with him both in the classroom, like that with Religious Studies Professor Larry Meredith, and in personal encounters, like that with English Professor Heather Mayne, who introduced him to the first book he read all the way through, The Color Purple.
He says his goal as a writer is to show the right side of life on the "wrong side of the tracks": It was made into a film in Ball Don't Lie - A Summary Set in East Los Angeles' Lincoln Rec Center, Ball Don't Lie opens with a blast of energy as the minor character Dreadlock Man propels with him onto the basketball court where we find the novel's protagonist Travis Reichard, mostly called Sticky, stands at the free-throw line, with a basketball grasped between his knees, compulsively pulling his shirt out and tucking it back in again, over and over and over, while he waits to be selected to play on a team in a pickup game of basketball.
Sticky's compulsive behaviors are the result of having witnessed his mother's death by suicide at the early age of seven.
His isolation results from having been in a string of unloving and detrimental foster homes since then. Told in a rapid-fire and inventive style, the third-person narrative uses flashbacks to unfold the backstory of seventeen-year-old Sticky's lonely and distraught early life.
The traumatic loss of his mother is somewhat offset by the fortuitous emergence of Anh-thu into Sticky's otherwise bleak, unsettled life. A Vietnamese-American teen who was abandoned as an infant, Anh-thu is intelligent, hard-working and compassionately affectionate.
Understanding the lonely side of life herself, she embraces Sticky after meeting him while preventing him from shoplifting a pair of jeans from the shop where she is a salesgirl. Sticky's life takes a positive turn, with no small credit given to the good influence of Anh-thu on his life, when he is invited to a prestigious basketball camp.
While there, his obsessive compulsions overcome him again as he worries about getting Anh-thu a worthy gift for her upcoming sixteenth birthday.
As the consequence of robbing a man at knife-point of his ATM withdrawal--a man who turns out to be a ruthless drug dealer--Sticky is shot in his basketball throwing wrist. In the hospital, Anh-thu, who is now pregnant with Sticky's child, gives him compassion, affection, understanding and deep love.
The bloodletting of the gunshot wound, the in-pouring of Anh-thu's love, acceptance and affection and the upwelling of long repressed tears of sorrow and horror stemming from his mother's suicidal death seem to cleanse Sticky of his anguished past and of his unrest in his own body while opening the possibility of a future of promise before him.Mar 04, · This morning I did the first of what I hope will be one billion interviews about my new book Ball Don’t Lie!Myth, Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball.
This is our best seller for a reason. Relaxed, tailored and ultra-comfortable, you’ll love the way you look in this durable, reliable classic. BALL DON’T LIE (Delacorte Press, ) Written by Matt de la Peña Grades Sticky is a young teenager trying to find his way and make sense of a world where he feels alone.
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Excerpted from Ball Don't Lie: Myth, Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball by Yago Colás. Published by Temple University Press. Book can be purchased online at Amazon.
The book Ball Don't Lie by Mat t de la Pena, published by Random House Children's Books in , seems like it takes place present day.
It was a very unique and realistic book, even for it being fiction/5(14).