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Foul Trouble
Cover of Foul Trouble
Foul Trouble
Bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the big money and back-room deals that pervade college-basketball recruiting in this fast-break young adult novel.
 
Terrell Jamerson is the #1 high school basketball player in the country. His team is poised to win State, top colleges are lining up to give him scholarships, and everyone says he could play in the NBA tomorrow. But it only takes one false step to lose everything.
 
Danny Wilcox is Terrell’s best friend and teammate, and a top prospect himself, but these days it seems like everyone wants to get close to Terrell: the sneaker guys, the money managers, the college boosters. They show up offering fast cars, hot girls, and cold, hard cash. They say they just want to help, but their kind of help could get Terrell disqualified.
 
Danny and Terrell better keep their eyes on the ball if they hope to last the season.
 
John Feinstein has been praised as...
Bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the big money and back-room deals that pervade college-basketball recruiting in this fast-break young adult novel.
 
Terrell Jamerson is the #1 high school basketball player in the country. His team is poised to win State, top colleges are lining up to give him scholarships, and everyone says he could play in the NBA tomorrow. But it only takes one false step to lose everything.
 
Danny Wilcox is Terrell’s best friend and teammate, and a top prospect himself, but these days it seems like everyone wants to get close to Terrell: the sneaker guys, the money managers, the college boosters. They show up offering fast cars, hot girls, and cold, hard cash. They say they just want to help, but their kind of help could get Terrell disqualified.
 
Danny and Terrell better keep their eyes on the ball if they hope to last the season.
 
John Feinstein has been praised as...
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.1
  • Lexile:
    770
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book Sitting in the backseat of his father's jeep, Danny Wilcox was fantasizing about the moves he was going to make going head to head against the top high school basketball players in the country at a showcase summer camp.

    Of course, it helped that the best high school player in the country was sitting in the front seat and would be Danny's teammate while he was facing all those other top players.

    Terrell Jamerson was basketball perfection. Lean, wiry-strong, six foot seven. His jumping ability had been described by one scouting service in a few words: "There's not a high school gym in America that can hold him. Maybe—maybe—the Dean Dome or Rupp Arena can hold him." Terrell could dunk with either hand, sucked up rebounds like a vacuum cleaner, and was deadly from the outside—making 47 percent of his three-point attempts.

    Danny, by comparison, was six feet tall and could jump reasonably well—"for a white boy," as Terrell liked to put it. He made about 35 percent of his three-point attempts—mostly wide-open shots because Terrell was being double-teamed. Maybe his most telling stat was that he shot 92 percent from the free throw line. Danny's game was about practice, determination, and smarts. A coach's kid, he'd been around the game all his life. He knew the history, the X's and O's, the options. Which made him a terrific point guard, running the offense for his team. He knew each of his teammates' abilities, knew where the ball should go—usually to Terrell.

    Where Danny spent the game analyzing, Terrell just played. He had the kind of raw ability that made his game look effortless.

    Danny was fully aware that he was attending this camp because of Terrell. His dad too, really. Andy Wilcox had been the coach at Lexington High School for twelve years and had always produced solid, competitive teams. But everything had changed when Melinda Jamerson had decided to move her son from Hartford, Connecticut, to Lexington, Massachusetts, because she didn't like the environment he was going to school in. As luck would have it, Melinda's decision to move her family had coincided with her son's six-inch growth spurt the previous summer. Suddenly, Terrell Jamerson was unstoppable.

    The year before Jamerson arrived, the Lexington Minutemen had gone 17–10. A year later, with Terrell in the lineup, they went 27–3, won a prestigious Christmas tournament in Myrtle Beach, and just missed out on the state title. And that was only because Terrell had fouled out of the championship game.

    People had noticed.

    By midwinter, Lexington's gym had begun to fill up—not just with fans but with coaches. The college coaches were easy to pick out because they almost always wore a shirt or a sweater in their school colors with the school's name or logo on it. But they weren't the only newcomers. No one from Lexington ever came to see the Minutemen play wearing a suit, but suddenly there were very expensive suits seen in the stands.

    "Agents, shoe company reps, bird dogs for agents—you name it, they're there," Danny's dad told him one night at dinner. "None of this is good."

    "It isn't?" Danny asked. "Isn't it good that all these people think Terrell can be a star?"

    "It doesn't take any kind of genius to see that Terrell can be a star," Andy Wilcox answered. "What he needs is to pick a college and a coach who will care about him and not about promoting his own career."

    Following that breakout season, Danny knew that Terrell was being bombarded with letters from coaches and with phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, and Facebook messages. Even though the NCAA had all...
About the Author-
  • JOHN FEINSTEIN is the author of many bestselling books, including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. His books for young readers offer a winning combination of sports, action, and intrigue, with Last Shot receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best young adult mystery of the year. He lives in Potomac, Maryland, and Shelter Island, New York, with his family.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books haycol - Great book for someone who loves basketball and understands the sport real well.
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2013
    Two prominent high school basketballers navigate college decisions amid a throng of unscrupulous coaches, agents, shoe-company representatives and other hangers-on vying for their attention. The third-person narrator switches--sometimes unexpectedly--between two boys' points of view: Terrell Jamerson, one of the most aggressively recruited high school seniors in the country, and his friend and teammate Danny Wilcox. At a summer camp ironically called "School Comes First," the boys get their first taste of what will become a yearlong ordeal. Despite NCAA rules about what kinds of incentives high school and college basketball players can accept, sleazy men in suits keep showing up to court Terrell and anyone they think can influence him. There is a large cast of characters to keep track of, and the story unfolds over most of a year, but sophisticated readers will be rewarded. The on-court scenes excellently pair discussions of plays and strategy with nail-biting, second-by-second action. The off-court intrigue is similarly tense. Danny's quick temper, Terrell's occasional naivete and their coach's firm levelheadedness clash dramatically with the slick maneuvers of exploitative adults. The factors surrounding Terrell's choices are presented thoughtfully and without didacticism. Thorough and suspenseful; a must-read for those interested in basketball and the dealings surrounding the sport. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-A riveting, cautionary tale about behind-the-scenes, big-money pressures confronting talented high school athletes. Blending a breadth of basketball knowledge with an understanding of the vulnerability of young superstars, Feinstein deftly describes the on- and off-court friendships, dilemmas, and decisions made by Massachusetts seniors Terrell Jamerson and Danny Wilcox. When Terrell, the star forward, and Danny, the point guard, are invited to an elite summer camp, Coach Wilcox, Danny's respected and protective father, insists on coming, too-to coach and to keep an eye on the scouts, agents, and well-wishers who surround his players. Here, Terrell and Danny meet Bob Kelleher, a journalist whose personal mission is to expose the good guys and bad guys surrounding the teens. The camp is just the beginning of the media, marketing, and recruiting blitz that consumes nationally top-ranked Terrell. Danny encourages him to tell Kelleher about the backdoor propositions and manipulation that also engulf his mother and her boyfriend. After an emotionally grueling championship season, Terrell and Danny finally face the cameras and announce their college decisions. Teens will enjoy the vibrant court action, player repartee, budding romances, Danny's hot-tempered loyalty, and the realistic portrayal of Terrell's uncertainty. Harvard's Tommy Amaker, Duke's Mike Krzyzweski, and High School Basketball Illustrated's revered editor, Tom Konchalski, make cameo appearances, offering advice and promoting integrity. Meanwhile, two fictitious colleges are portrayed as emerging athletic powerhouses condoning illegal recruiting and kickbacks. Timely hot topics are embedded in this action-packed sports story. Readers will breathlessly await Terrell's final decision.-Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 1, 2013
    Grades 7-10 *Starred Review* Fueled by plenty of high-octane sports action, Feinstein's latest fast-break tale of intrigue and corruption in the world of athletics focuses on the hubbub surrounding a nationally ranked high-school basketball player. Terrell Jamerson has a clear path to the NBA, but there's an awful lot to navigate through: dazzling offers from colleges, enticing glimpses of the high life offered by unscrupulous scouts and agents, pressures exerted by sleazy friends, and eagle-eyed NCAA officials with agendas of their own. Fortunately, not only is Terrell level-headed but he has loyal friends in teammate Danny, a point guard who is also getting noticed by college recruiters, and Danny's stubbornly honest father, who coaches their team through a series of hard-fought games. A character from previous books, investigative journalist Bobby Kelleher, gets a significant supporting role, and Feinstein brings in actual players, coaches, reporters, and scouts for verisimilitude-building cameos. He also delivers blistering indictments of the NCAA: for leaning heavily on secondary young prospects while turning a blind eye to infractions by major ones and to the recruitment system for blatantly exploiting young athletes. Readers will understand how hard Terrell's choices areparticularly after two accidents make taking the quick money look like the safer option. They will cheer him, too, as a team leader who ultimately makes decisions for the right reasons.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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