Here’s my review of Roy Lingster’s new book. It is is posted on the book’s Amazon page.
A delightful potpourri of iconic basketball tales
Roy Lingster presents an educational, informative, entertaining mix of hoops stories in his latest book, He revisits the historic significance of Dr. James Naismith and the New York Rens early on his highly readable tome. Lingster also underscores the Rens’ remarkable dominance in the 1920s and ’30s (in “The Best Team You’ve Never Heard Of” chapter), citing the team’s Basketball Hall of Fame bio: “The Rens were unsurpassed in passing ability and the fast break left opponents begging for mercy.”
Chapters on Darryl Dawkins’ dunking prowess (underscored by a Shaquille O’Neal quote: “Darryl Dawkins is the father of power dunking. I’m just one of his sons.”), Michael Jordan’s one-for-the-ages effort in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals while physically weakened due to a bout with food poisoning and Pat Summit, the legendary coach of the University of Tennessee women’s team are other noteworthy standout sections in the book.
Lingster also includes a chapter on Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest), writing about how the Malice in the Palace in April 2004 was a life-altering experience for the NBA forward. In later years, with a new name and a fresh perspective, World Peace became an advocate for mental health.
What’s more, he showcases the story of Texas Western College’s victory over Kentucky in the 1966 NCAA Tournament final, reminding everyone of its significance. Coach Don Haskins’ winning team became the first in NCAA history to have five black starters in a championship game. A feat illuminated by a quote from former U.S. President Barack Obama at the outset of the chapter: They didn’t know it at the time, but their contribution to civil rights was as important as any other.”
Bo Kimble’s tribute to his late, great Loyola Marymount teammate Hank Gathers is another welcome inclusion in “A Game of Extremes: 25 Exceptional Basketball Stories.” After Gathers passed away in March 1990 after collapsing on the court in a game due to a heart condition, Kimble shot his first free throw in every game, college and pro, for the rest of his career. Gathers was a left-handed shooter.
In this book, Lingster celebrates the game of basketball and its history, and it should be a welcome addition to any sports fan’s library.