Albert Biederman, pushing forty, is a sportswriter in River City, Iowa, where college basketball carries the town through the cold winter months. The River State University team has been newly energized by a junior-college transfer who is from Chicago's South Side. Belvyn Menkus is a blond-Afroed point guard who takes the game to a higher level--"the first player," Al says, "to stir my imagination in eighteen years of covering River State basketball." Researching Menkus's background, Al discovers forged transcriptions and recruiting violations. Breaking the story could land him a job on a big-city paper, but what would that cost the player, the town, and Al's own sense of the justice of the game? David Shields is the author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, including Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season, Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity, and Dead Languages: A Novel. Ira Berkow is a sports columnist for the New York Times and the author of To the Hoop: Seasons of a Basketball Life and Court Vision: Unexpected Views on the Lure of Basketball.
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