Rebound:: The Dennis Rodman Story

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9780517592946: Rebound:: The Dennis Rodman Story
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Rebound tells the true and surprising story of Dennis Rodman's remarkable journey to the NBA, a journey that led, literally, through the backyard of a white ranching family in rural Bokchito, Oklahoma. If not for Dennis's remarkable relationship with Bryne Rich, NBA superstardom would surely be an unrealized dream. Rebound features the great healing power of friendship and family love.
They met in 1983. Thirteen-year-old Bryne Rich had killed his best friend in a hunting accident; he had such awful nightmares he couldn't sleep in his own bed. Twenty-two-year-old Dennis "Worm" Rodman was sure he would fail at everything in life, including basketball at Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he was recruited because he was 6-8 - even though he was terribly gawky. Both Dennis and Bryne were completely lost; but when they found each other, they found themselves.
They became best friends. Soon everyone called them Big Worm and Little Worm. Dennis was a regular guest at Bryne's family home in Bokchito, a small town where black and white routinely kept separate. Pat Rich, Bryne's mother, felt the heat from outraged family and neighbors, but when she saw her son curled up in Dennis's arm, sleeping in his own bed for the first time in months, she knew Worm was the answer to her prayers. She tells how her youngest son's life was saved by Dennis's friendship.
Dennis stayed with the Riches for three years, treated like a member of the family. There, he found motivation and discipline. He went from awkward kid to college All-America to second-round NBA draft choice to NBA superstar, and he did it all with hard work. And Bryne lost his nightmares and his spirit healed. And Pat Rich learned to overcome her own prejudices and to measure a man's worth by his deeds and his heart.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

About one of the NBA's ``bad boys'': an uninspired, sometimes sketchy account of Rodman's relationship with a rural family during his college days in Oklahoma. In 1982, 12-year-old Bryne Rich accidentally shot and killed his best friend. He was in a deep depression for nearly a year, until, at a basketball camp, he met a lanky 6'8'' black man from Dallas nicknamed ``Worm.'' The friendship was immediate, Bryne's mother, Pat, describing it as ``a supernatural thing'' that saved her despondent son. Over the next three years, Rodman practically lived on the Rich farm, the group braving small-town disapproval and racial sniping. While Pat and her husband believed the friendship did wonders for their son, Pat struggled with gossip about her and Rodman, avoided being seen with him, and frequently lectured him about dating white girls. (She claims she didn't know the word ``nigger'' was a derogatory term until she looked it up.) Throughout his All-American college career to his selection by the Detroit Pistons in 1986, Rodman stayed with the Rich family; at one point he begged to be adopted and began calling himself Dennis Rich. The authors make little comment about the difficulties of his being scolded for taking small change, charging purchases to their names, forging their checks, wearing Pat's jewelry, and staying out too late; and while only slight space is given to the friendship between Bryne and Rodman, more is devoted to Pat's agonizing over the social implications of having a black man in the house, and to buzzing over racial differences. Rodman's NBA career and his many difficulties, including an alleged suicide attempt in 1993, are given scant attention. Perhaps too close to the situation, the authors fail to capture what in other hands might have been a unique and inspiring story. (Eight pages of photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Rodman is the National Basketball Association's premier rebounder as well as one of its most controversial citizens. He currently cleans the glass for the San Antonio Spurs, but he made his name as the prototype "bad boy" of the Detroit Pistons. While working as a counselor at a summer basketball camp, Rodman, then an insecure recruit at Southeastern Oklahoma, met Bryne Rich. Ten years younger than Rodman, Rich was immersed in a depression stemming from accidentally shooting his best friend. The two lost souls connected, and Rodman eventually moved in with the Rich family. This account of their friendship, coauthored by Rodman, Rich's mother, Pat, and freelance writer Alan Steinberg (coauthor of Behind the Mask [1990]), is no sugar-coated fairy tale. Both Rodman and the Rich family felt the sting of racism in rural Oklahoma. The account of their time together, how they persevered as Rodman matured and the Riches learned not to prejudge based on race or background, is not really a basketball story; instead, it's a moving family drama, and it teaches us that family ties have less to do with blood relations than we might think. Wes Lukowsky

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