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True Fans: A Basketball Odysseyby Dan Austin
Synopses & Reviews
Three friends. Three bicycles. Forty-eight hundred miles. One NBA-issue basketball.
Based on the nationally touring film of the same name, Dan Austin's hilarious and thoughtful True Fans details the journey Dan, his brother Jared, and best friend Clint Ewell started when they hopped aboard their bicycles and headed east from the pickup court at Venice Beach, handlebars pointed toward the NBA Hall of Fame. It was a basketball pilgrimage, shooting hoops on sandlots across the country, looking for enlightenment under a net. In their bicycle trailer, which they called "The Ark of the Covenant," they carried a few gallons of peanut butter and an unused basketball, on which they collected the signatures of those who helped them on their journey, from the Reverend Kevin Smith, who let them sleep behind his church, to Dick Simmons, a coal miner who offered them five dollars he could scarcely afford to part with. They would bring this ball to the Hall of Fame, and ask that it be included in the permanent collection.
What would America do, the book also asks, if three guys on bikes with a basketball in tow showed up and begged for a handout? Not everyone was friendly — the strange "owner" of Amboy, Nevada, makes for a fairly spooky villain — but most of the country, they found, would do just about anything for them. Doors were opened from California to Springfield, Massachusetts, hamburgers comped, hot tubs proffered. Austin and his crew knocked, and for one hundred days, America answered. The result was a classic odyssey.
"As a storyteller, Austin may not rival Jack Kerouac, yet his tale of a trio's 100-day bicycle trip in 1997 from California to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA, is a modern-day classic." Library Journal
About the Author
Dan Austin is a filmmaker and writer based in New York City. His documentary of the trip, also titled True Fans, has screened in more than 150 cities in North America and sixteen film festivals. It was the winner of the People's Choice Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Austin recently directed a film about street kids in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, worked on a feature-length documentary with Angleina Jolie, produced film projects in Iceland and Paraguay, and finished the final installment in his True Fans trilogy, True Fans Forever. True Fans is currently being developed into a musical for Broadway.
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