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Publisher:
Green Buffalo Press

Publication Date:
12/08/2020

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-0-9905489-6-6

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
9.99

THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL

By Craig Leener

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
5.0
A feel-good coming of age tale, THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is a delightful, funny, and heartfelt young adult adventure that combines a love of basketball with the importance of friendship.
IR Approved

Interdimensional hijinks ensue in this YA coming of age tale where a young basketball player must save the fate of the sport from the evil machinations of his rival.

THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL marks the conclusion of Leener’s Zeke Archer Basketball trilogy, but author Craig Leener does a fantastic job of bringing readers new and old up to speed on previous developments while the last story unfolds. Zeke Archer finds himself in a tight spot just as he’s college bound and dreaming of walking on as a Jayhawk in Kansas. With his military veteran father struggling in a VA hospital, and his only transportation to college left in a dismantled metal heap, things quickly take a turn for the weird. Zeke’s nemesis Brock Decker, now lavishly wealthy overnight, appears to have tampered with the history of basketball itself for his own profit. It’s up to Zeke and his genius best friend Lawrence to defy the laws of time and space to restore the legacy of the sport that Zeke knows and loves dearly.

Cleverly written, with a keen eye for consistently raising the stakes, THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is the kind of YA read that appeals to a wide range of readers. An in-depth knowledge of basketball isn’t necessary to enjoy this quirky adventure through sports history. Even the most casual of basketball fans will find the games within fast-paced, exciting, and tense through Leener’s passionate, lively descriptions. There’s an obvious love for the sport from the amount of detailed research that went into bringing Zeke’s interdimensional trip to life. Zeke and Lawrence’s efforts at time travel are delightfully zany, hilarious, and even heartfelt. Brock Decker is a devious villain who piles on conflict at every turn, twisting the story into unpredictable directions.

By the time Zeke meets the inventor of the sport at that pivotal moment, it holds the necessary emotional weight to make it feel real. Though the novel is very much about basketball, its strength comes from its emotional arcs, its character dynamics. In the principals of basketball mirroring Zeke’s growth as a young man entering a new chapter of his life. In Zeke’s acceptance of his flaws and past mistakes. And, most importantly, in the glue that holds this novel together—the friendship between Zeke and Lawrence. Everything in the book hinges on their relationship, and that only becomes more apparent as the story reaches its breathless conclusion. They’re given the space to be vulnerable around each other, which is a beautiful thing to see between teenage boys in YA lit. Their friendship is layered, realistic, and includes a respectful portrayal of an autistic teenager. For the Zeke Archer Basketball Trilogy, THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is a satisfying tale that stands on its own and concludes a quirky, genre-bending series.

A feel-good coming of age tale, THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is a delightful, funny, and heartfelt young adult adventure that combines a love of basketball with the importance of friendship.

~Jessica Thomas for IndieReader

Publisher:
Green Buffalo Press

Publication Date:
12/08/2020

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-0-9905489-6-6

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
9.99

THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL

By Craig Leener

Craig Leener’s THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is the thrilling and exciting finale to The Zeke Archer Basketball Trilogy and is a coming-of-age tale about loss, resilience, love, and friendship. This book is replete with all the elements of a great story line: compelling and interesting characters, a skillful blend of sports and fiction, and a fulfilling resolution.