Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Passover is over

Apologies to everyone who commented during the last two days of the festival, which are days of rest among the Orthodox. At least I was able to finish a lot of reading, some of which I hope to review here on this Commonplace Blog over the next several days. The baseball season opened while I was incommunicado, and the college basketball season ended in disappointment for this Indiana native, born less than an hour from Butler University.

If nothing else, though, that gives me an excuse to recommend John R. Tunis’s Yea! Wildcats! (1944). It is a boy’s book; it is about Indiana high-school basketball, and was published a decade before Milan High, with an enrollment of only 161, won the state title, an incredible story later fictionalized and filmed as Hoosiers; and the book’s racial theme will seem gently quaint. With all those warnings, it may still be the best basketball novel ever written. Are there any others worth mentioning?

As for Passover in fiction. The less said the better.


Jonathan said...

Aside from Chip Hilton's exploits, I can't even come up with other novels about basketball. If I remember correctly, however, the sport occupies key parts of several of Pat Conroy's novels, and isn't there an opening hoops scene in "Rabbit, Run"?

Wikipedia informs me that "Since 1997, the NCAA has presented The Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award to a Division I men's basketball player who has demonstrated outstanding character, leadership, integrity, humility, sportsmanship and talent both on and off the court, similar to the fictional Chip Hilton character."

Gee whiz!