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Hoop Crazy



Dennis Gildea

Published Date: November 1, 2013

Available in

Cloth

$34.95

The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton
978-155728-641-3
402 pages
18 photographs
6" x 9"

About

Clair Bee (1896–1983) was a hugely successful basketball coach at Rider College and Long Island University with a 412 and 87 record before his career was derailed in 1951 by a point-shaving scandal. In the trial that sent his star player, Sherman White, to prison, the judge excoriated Bee for creating a morally lax culture that contributed to his players’ involvement with gambling.

 

To a certain extent, Bee agreed with the judge’s scolding, concluding that coaches, himself included, had become so driven to succeedon the court that they had lost sight of the educational role sports should play. His coaching career effectively over, Bee launched an effort to reform the ills he saw in college sports, and he did so in the pages of the Chip Hilton novels for young readers. He began the series in 1948, but it was the post-scandal books that he used as teaching tools. The books mirrored some of the events of the gambling scandal and were Bee’s attempt to reform the problems plaguing college sports. He used his fiction to posit a better sports world that he hoped his young readers would construct and inhabit.

 

The Chip Hilton books were extremely popular and have become a classic series, with over two million copies sold to date. Hoop Crazy is the fascinating story of Clair Bee and his star character Chip Hilton and the ways in which their lives, real and fictional, were intertwined.

Author

Dennis Gildea, a former sportswriter, is a professor of communications at Springfield College.

Review

“[T]his book presents a truly unique look at one of the greatest and most controversial college basketball coaches—and one of the most popular authors of adolescent sports fiction—of all time.”

Journal of Sport History, Spring 2015

Series

Sport, Culture, and Society seeks to promote a greater understanding of the aforementioned issues and many others. Recognizing sport’s powerful influence and ability to change people’s lives in significant and important ways, the series focuses on topics ranging from urbanization and community development to biography and intercollegiate athletics. It includes both monographs and anthologies that are characterized by excellent scholarship, accessible to a wide audience, and interesting and thoughtful in design and interpretations. Singular features of the series are authors and editors representing a variety of disciplinary areas and who adopt different methodological approaches. The series also includes works by individuals at various stages of their careers, both sport studies scholars of outstanding talent just beginning to make their mark on the field and more experienced scholars of sport with established reputations.

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