Hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their LivesBook - 2008
Follows coach Jack O'Brien, who led Boston's Charlestown High School basketball team to victory in several state championships, and chronicles his relationship with two talented African-American basketball players.
Revolving around fascinating, complex characters, The Assist is a captivating narrative of a basketball team in pursuit of a championship that also drills down into the legacy of desegregation and explores issues of education, family, and race. O'Brien is a middle-aged white guy coaching an all-black team playing in an all-white neighborhood that three decades ago was at the center of the busing wars dividing cities across the country?a time and place indelibly described in J. Anthony Lukas's powerful book Common Ground. It's the inspiring story of a man who makes a difference, and of boys surmounting nearly impossible odds; it is also the story of the ones who don't make it, and why.
Offers a intriguing portrait of Jack O'Brien, the basketball coach at Boston's Charlestown High School, who has led his teams to a number of state championship titles, and the players who make up his teams, youngsters from high-crime, poverty-stricken neighborhoods who have managed to get to college despite the odds.