"Remember the Titans" meets "Friday Night Lights," Ken Abraham does a masterful job quickly pulling the reader into the racially tense world of Gallatin, Tennessee in the 1960's. From the onset you learn about two young kids, Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon, who shared a love for the game of basketball in a time and place where their friendship was considered off limits solely due difference in the color of their skin. Despite the surrounding hatred that these two kids could have easily succumbed to; somehow they rose above the narrow-minded thinking and understood what was right and what had no place in their lives. How could this be? How did these leaders on the court come to understand how very much alike they truly were? One gets the impression this revelation comes from the purity of the game of basketball, and the lessons learned on the court translated to life itself. This was a truly great read and I couldn't put "More than Rivals" down until I got to the final page. Loved it! As a footnote; I knew Bill Ligon in the early 1970's when he was a counselor at All Pro Camp, owned and operated by NBA great, Dave Bing and national championship coach, Howie Landa. Tremendously talented player for Vanderbilt at that time and one of the nicest, warmest individual that you could meet. He was a great teacher of the game. It is hard to believe that Bill had to endure such prejudice only a few short years before I knew him, and yet remained so upbeat and positive without allowing a grudge or smoldering hatred hold him back.
This book is a reminder of the positives which can be accomplished as people work together for a common cause. One positive gesture can make a huge difference to unite people. Just as negativity and ignorance can breed prejudice and tear people apart. It is amazing to read about how backward and ridiculous our social mores were in the past. As our country strives for social and racial equality, we could all learn an important life lesson from this writing. Jesus LOVES the Little children....all the little children of the world.....whether they are yellow, black, or white....They are precious in his sight.
Excellent book, quick and easy read. Living in the town the book is set in makes it even better. Picturing everything that went on was amazing. I wish I had been at that game. Race relations are still complicated in out town, even more so with the national climate. However, many of us see past the color of our skin. Many of us do life together. Many of us feel the weight of what this event did for our history. May we make the future even better for our children and grandchildren.
Much more than a book about a basketball rivalry or a friendship between two boys, this book was a reminder of what Southern segregated small town life was like. It was all there - the balcony in the theater, the crossing the street to avoid speaking, the separate businesses, the no coloreds signs, the isolated churches, and the all-white, all-black neighborhoods. I think the basketball will serve well as a hook to grab young readers; I'm giving my grandsons, who love basketball, a copy. But I really want them to get a sense of the history. Abraham takes a very straightforward approach. No real villains, except maybe the Klu Klux Klansmen. The story isn't re-told from a 2016 perspective of current racial tolerances or intolerances. I thought it was very fair coverage. I really loved the book and plan to re-read soon.
One of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m always enthralled by true stories and this one is simply phenomenal. At a dark time in our Country’s history, light pierces darkness in Gallatin Tennessee. Two young men, who were color-blind, made a difference. Outstanding story, riveting writing and gut-wrenching truth brought to life by one of the greatest writers of all time. This book NEEDS to be a major motion picture. What a fabulous story!
This was a really neat read. I didn't want to put it down. I live in the town where this story is set and have been here almost 20 years, but this books gives a perspective from a time when I was a child growing up in another town. The local history is great to learn.
Read the story in the original format as "Union"! Have a autographed copy of first edition "No Slam Dunk"! Now have the first released Amazon edition " More Than Rivals" !
Great, true story of young childhood friends with a love for basketball, that grew apart and met in the high school state championship that were actually cross town rival schools from the same home town!