9781596700420

Uncaged: The Rise of Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and the National Champion Lawrence North Wildcats

Krider, Dave; Shelt, J R; Freeman, Scott

ISBN 10: 1596700424 / 1-59670-042-4
ISBN 13: 9781596700420
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Publication Date: 2006
Binding: Hardcover
About this title:
Synopsis:
Basketball rules in Indiana, and no one knows that better than Jack Keefer. As the only men's basketball coach in Lawrence North High School's history, Keefer has coached prep hoops in Indianapolis since the days of Bobby Knight's powerhouse mid-`70s squads. In that time, Keefer has had a lengthy list of All-Stars suit up for him: Eric Montross, Reed Crafton, Chris Hill, Tom Geyer, Jeff Leyden, Todd Leary, John Stewart. None have matched what Greg Oden and Mike Conley have accomplished, though. Matter of fact, none have even come close.

Uncaged is the story of Oden--a two-time National Player of the Year and undoubtedly Indiana's most historically heralded center--and his rise from awkward, pre-teen prospect to dominating, dunking phenom. And it's the story of Conley, an Arkansas kid with a gold medal dad whose leadership on the court and talent with the dribble has led several to suggest that it's his presence--not that of the 7-foot Oden--that has secured his high school team so many victories.

But Uncaged is also the story of a legendary coach and a treasure of talented role players who have steered Lawrence North toward three-straight state titles, an undefeated season, and the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Together, this team has simply been nearly unbeatable over the past four years--from 2003 to 2006 winning 103 games against just seven losses. This is their story, told for the first time.

We may never see another Indiana high school team this good. And in the Hoosier state, that's really saying something.


About the Author:
Dave Krider has covered high school sports for 45 years. He maintained USA Today's Super 25 high school team and player rankings for 18 years; has freelanced for Street & Smith's Basketball Yearbook, Basketball Weekly, and Basketball Times; and currently writes for Sports Illustrated. In 1997, he was the first newspaperman to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame. That same year he was a unanimous choice for the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. He still plays pickup basketball at the LaPorte YMCA two days a week.

J.R. Shelt served as an English teacher and assistant basketball coach at Lawrence North High School from 2001-2006 before accepting a job as head coach of Fishers High School following the 2006 school year. A native of Elkhart, Shelt starred in football and basketball in high school. He graduated from Indiana State, where he played basketball his senior year as a walk-on player. After graduation, he was an assistant coach at Indianapolis Tech High School, and then spent two years coaching at his alma mater, Elkhart Central High School, before joining the Lawrence North staff. Shelt and his wife, Brandi, have two daughters and live outside Indianapolis.

Scott Freeman is a Georgia native who has written extensively about sports for Atlanta magazine and other publications. In 1999, the first football story he ever wrote received a first-place honor for feature writing from the Football Writers Association of America. He is the author of two critically acclaimed music biographies--Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band, and Otis! The Otis Redding Story. He also is the co-author of Leo Mazzone's Tales from the Mound. Formerly executive editor of Indianapolis Monthly, Freeman is now senior editor at the Creative Loafing newspaper in Atlanta.


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