The Assist Basketball may be the soul game, but, as Neil Swidey deftly reveals in The Assist , it's often played and coached by wounded souls. Meet… The Assist Basketball may be the soul game, but, as Neil Swidey deftly reveals in The Assist , it's often played and coached by wounded souls. Meet… 2008-01-07 Biography Nonfiction PublicAffairs
Book Review

The Assist (2008)

THE ASSIST A compelling real-life story of inner-city Boston high school kids who commute to a hostile neighborhood to play basketball for an inspiring coach
THE ASSIST A compelling real-life story of inner-city Boston high school kids who commute to a hostile neighborhood to play basketball for an inspiring coach
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jan 07, 2008; Writer: Neil Swidey; Genres: Biography, Nonfiction; Publisher: PublicAffairs

Basketball may be the soul game, but, as Neil Swidey deftly reveals in The Assist, it's often played and coached by wounded souls. Meet the Charlestown High Townies, kids from inner-city Boston who commute to a neighborhood known for racism to play for a white coach who cares as much about getting them into college as he does about winning — and Jack O'Brien wins a lot. Though the narrative slows a bit in Boston's history of busing, Swidey quickly regains his traction, like the players who lick their hands to wet their shoe bottoms for better footing. There's triumph, tragedy, and salvation in this story. Not to mention a movie. A-

Originally posted Jan 11, 2008 Published in issue #974 Jan 18, 2008 Order article reprints
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