Heaven Is a Playground

By Rick Telander,

Book cover of Heaven Is a Playground

Book description

In 1974, Rick Telander intended to spend a few days doing a magazine piece on the court wizards of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant. He ended up staying the entire summer, becoming part of the players’ lives and eventually the coach of a loose aggregation known as the Subway Stars. Telander tells of…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Heaven Is a Playground as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

While the titles mentioned so far focus on high school teams spending their winters inside gymnasiums with referees on the court and fans in the bleachers, this one, written vibrantly by a staffer for Sports Illustrated magazine, shifts outside, to a blistering hot summer on the asphalt courts of Flatbush in Brooklyn, where teenage boys (including future legends Fly Williams and Albert King) and full-grown men play a tougher game, replete with trash-talking, flashy in-your-face moves, and tests of manhood that often turn to violence, with no officials to enforce order or rules, and few bystanders besides aging ex-athletes betting…

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