Everyone in Willow Creek is there for a reason. They lead very ordinary small village existences. Social life revolves around two institutions, the Willow Creek Inn and the Willow Creek School (grades 1-12).
Sam Pickett, the high school’s English teacher/boys basketball coach, is a good teacher and knows basketball. Unfortunately, he has very little basketball talent to coach, and due to low high school enrollments, his teams rarely have six or seven players. They have not won a game in five years and are 0-93 during Pickett’s coaching tenure. Nevertheless, his players persist, despite broken dreams and personal sorrows.
Pickett is about to resign as basketball coach when two new students appear. One is Peter Strong, a basketball guard from Saint Paul’s Central High School whose divorced parents have sent him to live with his eccentric grandmother. The other student is the gawky Olaf Gustafson, a 6’11” foreign exchange student who is staying with a nearby ranching family for the year. Olaf has never held a basketball.
What unfolds is an uplifting tale of human decency, romance, and determination that plumbs hidden places in the human heart. All this unfolds with a cast of characters who learn to dream again, characters made so real that they will be with you long after you turn the last page. That’s Stanley Gordon West writing style. It’s a great summer’s read. You can find this book in the Coffman Library.
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