Front cover image for Michael and the whiz kids : a story of basketball, race, and suburbia in the 1960s

Michael and the whiz kids : a story of basketball, race, and suburbia in the 1960s

"Imagine a boy, five feet tall and one hundred pounds, who wants to play high school basketball. Now imagine that he was blind until the age of six and that he's the first black student to attend his suburban school. And there you have Michael Thompson in 1965 in San Bruno, California. He played at the school where a young English teacher was coaching "lightweight basketball," a competition for smaller players that has since disappeared. The team that Coach John Christgau put together came to be called the Whiz Kids for the way they rocketed up and down the court, led by Michael and invariably winning. Michael and the Whiz Kids tells the story of the team's 1968 championship season. It is a tale of cliffhanger games and players as outsized in character as they are short in stature, from the wild-haired, bespectacled "Professor" to the well-traveled Latvian dubbed "Suitcase" to the quiet and tenacious "Salt," as in "of the earth." But it is also a tale of the time--of counterculture, suburbia, integration, and racial brawls erupting on the court. In Christgau's deft telling, it is an absorbing, often comic story of coming of age, for coach and Whiz Kids alike."-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2013
University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2013
183 pages ; 22 cm
9780803245891, 9780803248441, 9780803249356, 9780803249363, 0803245890, 080324844X, 0803249357, 0803249365
The Whiz Kids
Suitcase and the Professor
Jack Armstrong and Salt
Rene and Firp
Bob and Red
Uncle Tom
The Gipper
Jimmy the Greek and Artichoke Joe