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This Was Never About Basketball

Narrated by: Josh Powers
Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this coming-of-age novel, 17-year-old high school basketball star Ezekiel "Zeke" Archer has it all: a sweet jump shot, a full-ride scholarship to a Midwestern basketball powerhouse, and the brightest future. But when Zeke's temper gets the better of him in the city championship, he is expelled from school, has to forfeit his scholarship, and is left to ponder his once-hopeful future.

While finishing his final high school days in the California educational system's version of purgatory, Zeke makes a stunning discovery. With the help of a young autistic classmate Zeke befriends, he learns that the mysterious Seventh Dimension, which brought basketball to Earth more than a century ago, has decided to take the game away for good - all because of the ugly event Zeke set into motion in his final game!

As he embarks on the ultimate cross-country road trip to save basketball, Zeke must confront his unsettled past - including a father he has not heard from in years and a brother fighting in a war half a world away - in order to set his life on the right path and rescue the game he loves.

©2017 Craig Leener (P)2017 Craig Leener

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Often Enjoyable, Sometimes Not

The quality of this book ranges from excellent to poor, charming to cloying, engaging to tiresome, and realistic to WTF. Much of the book resonates with the Bronc Burnett series from a half century ago. Leener is clearly a capable writer; many passages are excellent and some aspects of the narrative arc are clever. Characters are not particularly well developed, but it's not that type of book (in this genre, characters take a back seat to the action). We listened in one day (on a road trip) and were stricken by the unevenness of the book. My kids spontaneously remarked about "how good" the book was at times and "how dumb" it was at other times. Many interesting possibilities are set up but then not well explored. The alien plot line takes a turn toward the bizarre as it awkwardly proselytizes for a conspiracy theory about alien interventions on earth; the lengthy final exposition closely tracks the whacky ideas (some folks are genuinely invested in a closely related delusion). Regarding the performance, Josh Powers has a strong, pleasant voice for the main narration, but his character voices were strained and featured odd affectations. With a pushy editor/publisher, this book could have more fully taken advantage of Leener's talent and become a far better book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Who knew that Basketball could be so interesting!

Really loved this book. And I am not the target demographic. Fun story, fast paced. inspiring... I rooted for the hero. And I loved the cast of characters, especially Lawrence.

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Great Story!

This book immediately hooks you. It takes you on an adventure that has unexpected twists and turns. Personally it took me back in time to when I was in high school and the emotional roller coaster I went through. It is very relatable in more ways than one. A fun story to listen to.

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Loved it!

An action-packed read filled with, of course basketball, true friendship, the supernatural, family, dancing with and around authority, life lessons and doing the right thing, no matter what! It has quirky characters you can't help but rally around! I listened to it on Audible. Between Leener's engaging writing style and the many voices of the narrator, it was super fun, engrossing and quite the wild ride! The young adult section needs more books like this! A very enjoyable book!

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Fun story...

Fun and interesting story. Each chapter kept you wanting to know what was going to happen next.