4 out of 4 stars
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Basketball is a sport I've always loved. I've always wished to possess the skills and talents needed to be a player. But it seems that I have to be content with my role as a spectator. More Hype than Glory by Tom Hyde lived up to my expectations, and I had a pleasurable reading experience.
Tom Hyde joined the basketball club at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1974. Later, he covered New Zealand basketball on TV for over 30 years. Before the National League was formed in 1982, New Zealand basketball had been in an impoverished state. Clubs were founded and managed by individuals who spent their own money to get things done. Sometimes, players paid to play!
After the National League was formed, they followed the established pattern of bringing in imports —foreign players. This meant a need for more money to pay players. They struggled to get a footing, but it was not easy. At a point, they had no money to travel to a World Cup qualifying match. Surprisingly, the team qualified for the World Cup for the first time, and gradually, they rose to new heights and became Rheineck League. However, this glory was short-lived. The entire edifice collapsed in a short while. More Hype than Glory gives a complete account of the events leading up to the eventual demise of the Rheineck League.
The humorous remarks in the narrative captured my interest at once. They livened up the story and prevented me from being too sober about the serious —albeit tragic— subject under discussion. An example of such a remark is 'Before the National League, basketball in New Zealand was such an afterthought, it might have been a secret society.' This is my most favorite aspect of this book.
In this book, Tom provides specific dates, names, events, and motives. When discussing the struggles of the Countrywide League, he mentioned a tournament held at Kensington stadium in 1983, which was attended by only 14 persons (The author counted.) Tom Hyde's long years of experience no doubt helped him in writing this flawless piece. The narrative flows smoothly without awkward sentences.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was professionally edited. It recounts New Zealand's basketball history with precision. Occasionally, I find myself getting lost in the maze of basketball technical terms. This is my only dislike, but it is to be expected, and it did not prevent me from enjoying the book. Lovers of basketball history will find this book to be informative.
More Hype Than Glory
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