Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, and more. This month we’re saying Happy First Book Birthday to The Rebounders: A Division I Basketball Journey by Amanda Ottaway.
About the Book:
Unlike the stories of most visible Division I college athletes, Amanda Ottaway’s story has more in common with those of the 80 percent of college athletes who are never seen on TV. The Rebounders follows the college career of an average NCAA Division I women’s basketball player in the twenty-first century, beginning with the recruiting process when Ottaway is an eager, naive teenager and ending when she’s a more contemplative twentysomething alumna.
Ottaway’s story, along with the journeys of her dynamic Wildcat teammates at Davidson College in North Carolina, covers in engaging detail the life of a mid-major athlete: recruitment, the preseason, body image and eating disorders, schoolwork, family relationships, practice, love life, team travel, game day, injuries, drug and alcohol use, coaching changes, and what comes after the very last game. In addition to the everyday issues of being a student athlete, The Rebounders also covers the objectification of female athletes, race, sexuality, and self-expression.
Most college athletes, famous or not, play hard, get hurt, fail, and triumph together in a profound love of their sport and one another, and then their careers end and they figure out how to move on. From concussions and minor injuries to classrooms, parties, and relationships, Ottaway understands the experience of a Division I women’s basketball player firsthand. The Rebounders is, at its core, a feminist coming-of-age story, an exploration of what it means to be a young woman who loves a sport and is on a course of self-discovery through that medium.
“Over the course of her four-year college career, Ottaway loses her innocence. But she gains an appreciation for her teammates, words, and a good story. And this is a very compelling story, and Ottaway tells it well. . . . For Ottaway and her teammates, it was a grueling grind, but it makes required reading for anyone interested in college basketball.”—Jon Hart, Stadium Journey
“The Rebounders is a must for anyone interested in college athletics.”—Book and Film Globe
“The Rebounders is a brutally honest portrayal of Ottaway’s four years as a member of the Davidson College (N.C.) women’s basketball team, from injuries to sitting on the bench to enduring unsympathetic coaches and the bodily functions of teammates sharing a room on the road . . . While the book covers some serious topics, Ottaway demonstrated a sense of humor in describing just how tough academics was for Davidson student-athletes.” —Cherie Hicks, Altoona Mirror
“[The Rebounders] reminds us how far women’s basketball has come. But more than anything, it captures the feel of the game, literally, in the swoosh of the ball through the net, and figuratively, as a metaphor for love itself.”—Kirk Weixel, BookMark
“An enjoyable account of women working hard at Division I basketball and one ends the book happy to have shared Ottaway’s journey.”—Murry Nelson, Sport in American History
On the blog:
- Publicist Picks: Contemporary American Poetry, College Athletes, and Other March Books
- From the Desk of Amanda Ottaway: After the Last Buzzer
- The Marketeers Club: Best of 2018