George Dohrmann, Pulitzer Prize winning author and senior reporter for Sports Illustrated, followed AAU summer league coach Joe Keller and his team, the Inland Stars, for 9 years, from when the kids on the team were just 9 and 10 years old in 2000, until their high school graduation. The author found that the kids were wooed to the team by shoe giants like Nike and Adidas, who are looking for the next Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. They get the kids to join the AAU teams by providing gear, shoes, and by promising them college scholarships. There are lots of ways for coaches to profit from this arrangement also, which leads them to view their players as "investments". This is also a story about relationships and the sad decline of many of them, whether among teammates, parents and sons, or coaches and players. Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine is an eye-opening look at the inner workings of modern American sports.
Submitted by KMJ @ East