Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated by Lo Harris
Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Date of Publication: December 7th 2021
Rating: 5 stars
‘’I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.’’
The boy of our story was born in Brooklyn and moved with his family to North Carolina. Playfully ‘’antagonizing’’ his siblings – as all children do – he wanted to be the first and the best in the sport that won his heart. But one day, he returned from school in tears. He had not been selected for the basketball team because he was ‘’too short’’. His mother gave him the most precious advice a parent can give to a child. ‘’Earn it!’’ And he did.
‘’You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.’’
He went on the become the star of his high school team and mum’s advice came to fruition. An Olympic medal was waiting for him. A gold medal in the ‘92 Olympics in Barcelona and a legendary final against Croatia. Those of us who hold basketball as our second religion (like yours truly…) swear that this was the finest final in History. The Dream Team had become a myth and it would remain so for the years to come…
‘’Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’’
But the loss of a parent can break your heart and the boy of our story wanted to quit, deeply affected by the death of his father. Luckily, he changed his mind and for the next six years, he generously offered unimaginable beauty to the lovers of the game around the world. After six NBA titles, it was time for him to retire as Phil Jackson, the ‘Zen Master’, decided to part ways with Chicago Bulls. He went on to create a new dynasty, leading Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles.
‘’Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.’’
An avid supporter of all sports, a man who helped children from all over the world to discover and fall in love with the most beautiful sport ever created (and don’t try to argue with me about that!). Even from the early age of 7-8 years old, everyone in our school would carry a basketball during breaks, school trips and during the holidays. Nick Galis (our own Greek god) and the boy of our story were our heroes. Girls and boys would fanatically watch basketball games and it was a love, a passion that still accompanies us. He became the synonym, the paradigm, the icon, the idol. He was Basketball and no one can change my mind. No one can come close. Those who claim that commit sacrilege and there is a special place in Hell reserved for them.
‘’You miss 100% of the shots you never take.’’
His name? Michael Jordan. Air Jordan. Black Jesus. Black Cat.
‘’I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to make the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’’
Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.