True Fans: A Basketball Odyssey

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9781592287796: True Fans: A Basketball Odyssey

"The road holds all the answers."

Based on the nationally touring film of the same name, Dan Austin's hilarious and thoughtful True Fans details the journey Dan, his brother Jared, and best friend Clint Ewell started when they hopped aboard their bicycles and headed east from the pickup court at Venice Beach, handlebars pointed toward the NBA Hall of Fame. It was a basketball pilgrimage, shooting hoops on sandlots across the country, looking for enlightenment under a net. In their bicycle trailer, which they called "The Ark of the Covenant," they carried a few gallons of peanut butter and an unused basketball, on which they collected the signatures of those who helped them on their journey, from the Reverend Kevin Smith, who let them sleep behind his church, to Dick Simmons, a coal miner who offered them five dollars he could scarcely afford to part with. They would bring this ball to the Hall of Fame, and ask that it be included in the permanent collection.

What would America do, the book also asks, if three guys on bikes with a basketball in tow
showed up and begged for a handout? Not everyone was friendly- the strange "owner" of
Amboy, Nevada, makes for a fairly spooky villain- but most of the country, they found, would
do just about anything for them. Doors were opened from California to Springfield, Massachusetts, hamburgers comped, hot tubs proffered. Austin and his crew knocked, and for
one hundred days, America answered. The result was a classic odyssey.

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From the Back Cover:

“A modern-day classic.”—Library Journal
“ . . . A self-propelled Blue Highway. . . a revealing look at average Americans.”—Booklist
“Positive and uplifting, giving the reader an itch to do [his or her] own pilgrimage.”—Lou Melini, Cycling Utah
One summer . . .
Dan Austin, his brother Jared, and best friend Clint set off across the country on mountain bikes in search of adventure. They wanted to see if America was as good as they hoped and believed it to be. Along with a few jars of peanut butter, push-up handles, and beat-up copies of On the Road and Huck Finn, they carried with them a virgin, never-before-played-with NBA basketball—inviting any heroic, kind-hearted folks they met along the way to sign.
The “Hero’s Ball” was carefully guarded in a trailer they pulled behind their bikes called the Ark of the Covenant. During the course of the journey—from Venice Beach, California, to Springfield, Massachusetts—the Ball was signed by people as fascinating and diverse as the country itself: people like the Reverend Kenny Shaw of Pasadena, California—who let the pilgrims camp behind his church—and Dick Simmons, a coal miner in West Virginia who offered up a few dollars he could scarcely afford to part with.
One hundred days and a whole summer later they planned to present the Ball to the “Powers that Be” at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The rest is history . . .
Dan Austin has explored old paths and new throughout the world. His directorial credits include Petionville, a documentary film exploring the lives of Haitian street children, and True Fans, which won the People’s Choice Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and has screened in over 200 cities worldwide. True Fans inspired a musical by the same name that won the Richard Rogers Award and is currently in development in New York. Austin splits his time between New York City, the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, and the West Coast. www.TrueFans.com

About the Author:

Dan Austin is a filmmaker and writer based in New York City. His documentary of the trip, also titled True Fans, has screened in more than 150 cities in North America and sixteen film festivals. It was the winner of the People's Choice Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Austin recently directed a film about street kids in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, worked on a feature-length documentary with Angleina Jolie, produced film projects in Iceland and Paraguay, and finished the final installment in his True Fans trilogy, True Fans Forever. True Fans is currently being developed into a musical for Broadway.

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