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Hope
Cover of Hope
Hope
A School, a Team, a Dream

Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island was once a model city school, graduating a wide range of students from different backgrounds. But the tumult of the 1960s and the drug wars of the 70s changed both Providence and Hope. Today, the aging school is primarily Hispanic and African-American, with kids traveling for miles by bus and foot each day.
Hope was known for its state championship basketball teams in the 1960s, but its 2012 team is much different. Disobedient, distracted, and overwhelmed by family troubles, with mismatched sneakers and a penchant for profanity and anger, these boys represent Coach Dave Nyblom's dream of a championship, however unlikely that might seem. Nyblom's mostly black players, including several who emigrated to Providence from war-torn Liberia, face gang violence, domestic uncertainty, drug problems, and a host of other issues. But with the unfailing support and guidance of Nyblom and other Hope coaches, their ragtag team gradually pulls together, overcoming every obstacle to find the faith and trust in themselves that Nyblom never stops teaching.
A look at a hidden world that just a few hundred yards from Brown University, Bill Reynolds' Hope is the inspiring true story of young men and their mentors pursuing one goal—a championship—but achieving so much more.

Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island was once a model city school, graduating a wide range of students from different backgrounds. But the tumult of the 1960s and the drug wars of the 70s changed both Providence and Hope. Today, the aging school is primarily Hispanic and African-American, with kids traveling for miles by bus and foot each day.
Hope was known for its state championship basketball teams in the 1960s, but its 2012 team is much different. Disobedient, distracted, and overwhelmed by family troubles, with mismatched sneakers and a penchant for profanity and anger, these boys represent Coach Dave Nyblom's dream of a championship, however unlikely that might seem. Nyblom's mostly black players, including several who emigrated to Providence from war-torn Liberia, face gang violence, domestic uncertainty, drug problems, and a host of other issues. But with the unfailing support and guidance of Nyblom and other Hope coaches, their ragtag team gradually pulls together, overcoming every obstacle to find the faith and trust in themselves that Nyblom never stops teaching.
A look at a hidden world that just a few hundred yards from Brown University, Bill Reynolds' Hope is the inspiring true story of young men and their mentors pursuing one goal—a championship—but achieving so much more.

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About the Author-
  • Bill Reynolds is a sports columnist for The Providence Journal and the author of several books, including Fall River Dreams and (with Rick Pitino) the #1 New York Times bestseller Success Is a Choice. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 26, 2015
    In this uneven book, longtime Providence Journal sports columnist Reynolds (Fall River Dreams) follows a basketball squad at Hope High School in Providence, R.I., a once-proud school that has been ravaged by gangs, unstable families, and indifference. At Hope, it’s a small miracle if the kids attend class. Amid the chaos, head coach Dave Nyblom, who regularly brings food for his underfed players, fields a competitive squad. Nyblom is part disciplinarian and part father figure to these rudderless boys, most of whom probably won’t appreciate his attention until they’re gone. Early on, Reynolds expresses a keen interest to learn more about the students, but while examining the challenges Nyblom faces as a coach, Reynolds rarely follows the kids beyond the gym. That distance, coupled with the columnist’s voice-from-the-mountaintop approach, reduces Nyblom and his players to footnotes in a tired narrative of a white knight in the urban jungle. So much about these kids—who they are and how they get through each day—remains unexplained and underreported. Reynolds says he cares for Hope’s players, but he never shows it.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2015

    Journalist Reynolds (Success is a Choice) follows the 2012-13 basketball season of Hope High School, an inner-city school in Providence, RI, in his effort to understand the challenges and dreams of young athletes. Not the typical inspirational sports narrative, the team's return to the state playoffs seems impossible as they start off the season 0-4. Between practices that are plagued by laziness and games by selfishness, players must ride two city buses to school and avoid gang violence, while eating one meal or less a day. Meanwhile, between the yelling and pleading to work harder, coaches provide food and equipment out of their own pockets, assist alumni in getting into college, w and attend the funerals of former players. Led by Coach Nybolm, the team must overcome injuries, drug issues, and suspensions in order to turn their season around. Intermixed with stories of the team's season, Reynolds examines how the effects of violence, poverty, race, and the education system have impacted the lives of Hope's players. VERDICT Although repetitious at points, Reynolds's book succeeds in providing a glimpse into the daily struggles of inner-city players and their coaches. Recommended for readers who work with young athletes.--Chris Wilkes, Tazewell Cty. P.L., VA

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A School, a Team, a Dream
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