This Was Never About Basketball
by Craig Leener
Green Buffalo Press

"Basketball will cease to exist tomorrow at midnight. They say there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it."

Ezekiel “Zeke” Archer never imagined his temper would get the best of him on the basketball court and ruin not only his future but the entire world’s future with the sport he loves more than anything. Through the unusual conduit of his autistic friend, Lawrence, Zeke gets a message from the 7th Dimension that his actions on the court have altered his destiny and have forced this otherworldly entity to remove the game of basketball from the world forever. Zeke, with the help of Lawrence and his teammates, hopes to right the wrongs of his past and save the sport he loves from permanent elimination. Racing against time and a multitude of obstacles, Zeke embarks on a cross-country journey that teaches him more than the value of a game. Along the way, he reconnects with his absent father, makes the most of his second chance, and chooses a path that aligns with all his newfound insight.

Leener’s love of the game leaps from every page, whether he is giving a play-by-play of action on the court or creating the character of Zeke word by word. The story builds vigorously from teenage sports saga to road trip odyssey to wild sci-fi quest. With Leener’s storytelling prowess, these elements all flow together from beginning to satisfying end. The strong character development adds to the success of the overall story. As Zeke wrestles with his past mistakes and looks to the future, he becomes someone authentic that readers can identify with and learn from on and off the court. Leener’s prose never stumbles but glides effortlessly across chapters with first-person narration and authentic dialogue. The result is a celebration of basketball, friendship, and finding your way.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home