State - A Team a Triumph a Transformation
Publisher: Agate Midway
With the passing of Title IX, a Chicago high school girls’ basketball team becomes pioneers as they play for the championship in this sports memoir.
Set against a backdrop of social change during the 1970s, State is a compelling first-person account of what it was like to live through both traditional gender discrimination in sports and the joy of the very first days of equality—or at least the closest that one high school girls’ basketball team ever came to it.
In 1975, freshman Melissa Isaacson—along with a group of other girls who’d spent summers with their noses pressed against the fences of Little League ball fields, unable to play—entered Niles West High School in suburban Chicago with one goal: make a team, any team. For “Missy,” that turned out to be the basketball team.
Title IX had passed just three years earlier, prohibiting gender discrimination in education programs or activities, including athletics. As a result, states like Illinois began implementing varsity competition—and state tournaments—for girls’ high school sports.
At the time, Missy and her teammates didn’t really understand the legislation. All they knew was they finally had opportunities—to play, to learn, to sweat, to lose, to win—and an identity: they were athletes. They were a team. And in 1979, they became state champions.
With the intimate insights of the girl who lived it, the pacing of a born storyteller, and the painstaking reporting of a veteran sports journalist, Isaacson chronicles one high school team’s journey to the state championship. In doing so, Isaacson shows us how a group of “tomboys” found themselves and each other, and how basketball rescued them from their collective frustrations and troubled homes, and forever altered the course of their lives.
Praise for State
“A beautiful story of basketball and life.” —Steve Kerr, head coach, Golden State Warriors
“Isaacson perfectly captures the birth of Title IX and a time when high school girls were starting to gain equality in sports and in the classroom, showing us how opportunities on the court can light a path for girls to become their authentic selves in all aspects of their lives.” —Billie Jean King, founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative
“The book is special because Isaacson captures the special bond that formed among the female athletes. Not only were they teammates, they were pioneers of a sort . . . . A wonderful book that is both eye-opening history and a moving and deeply personal memoir.” —Booklist, starred review
“An intimate, at times inspiring account.” —Kirkus Reviews
Available since: 08/13/2019.
Print length: 317 pages.