Synopses & Reviews
It ought to be just a game, but basketball on the playgrounds of Coney Island is much more than that for many young men it represents their only hope of escape from a life of crime, poverty, and despair. In The Last Shot, Darcy Frey chronicles the aspirations of four of the neighborhoods most promising players. What they have going for them is athletic talent, grace, and years of dedication. But working against them are woefully inadequate schooling, family circumstances that are often desperate, and the slick, brutal world of college athletic recruitment. Incisively and compassionately written, The Last Shot introduces us to unforgettable characters and takes us into their world with an intimacy seldom seen in contemporary journalism. The result is a startling and poignant expose of inner-city life and the big business of college basketball.
"This is a beautifully told, sympathetic story of a group of high school basketball players in Coney Island—the poignant account of their dream of escaping the ghetto by means of a basketball scholarship. The book is much, much more. It is by implication an indictment of a system of abuse of these youths, who are given false hope by deceitful coaches and greedy universities. It is a story in which every basketball fan is implicated, a story easily forgotten admist all the hoopla of the NCAA 'Final Four.'" Reviewed by Patrick LaRochelle, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"In his first book, Frey, a contributing editor at Harper's and the New York Times Magazine, has composed a sensitive account of a year in the lives of four exceptional players (three seniors and one freshman), their coach and their families, and he shows that the game can indeed be a means of escape in spite of their school's poor academic reputation....This excellent book is not only about basketball but about realizing a dream, and its appeal should be very wide." Publishers Weekly
"The author, who won a National Magazine Award for the story upon which this account is based, also explains how those living in high-risk areas suffered the most when the National Collegiate Athletic Association raised the standards of acceptable SAT scores for athletes. The young men whose stories Frey so poignantly captures exist in a world of 'mean streets and basketball dreams.' Recommended." Library Journal
This is the story of a group of high school boys who have given their lives to basketball. They dream of a college scholarship and escape from the neighborhood. What they have is athletic talent, grace, and years of dedication. The Last Shot introduces us to unforgettable characters and the brutal world of college athletic recruitment.
About the Author
Darcy Frey is a contributing editor for Harper's magazine and the New York Times magazine. He lives in New York City.