Longshot:The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA by Lance Allred
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: HarperOne (May 26, 2009)
Lance Allred was probably the last person you'd expect to make it in professional sports. Not only did he grow up on a polygamist commune in Montana, he struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. If those hurdles to the NBA don't seem large enough, Lance is also deaf.
Self-deprecating, witty, and wholly original, Longshot is the unlikely story of an unlikely athlete, who despite these factors and a lot of setbacks along the way, finally realized his dream of playing in the NBA, becoming the first legally deaf player in the league.
Lance refused to let others' expectations hinder his dreams, and his refreshing sense of humor about his disability allowed him to face these setbacks without giving up. From his childhood on the commune where he was "Mormon royalty" (his grandfather was prophet Rulon Allred of the fundamentalist sect) to his first time picking up a basketball (eighth grade), to his clumsy efforts to build his skills while growing into his 6' 11" frame, Longshot is a riveting account of a young man finding his purpose and letting the love of the game drive him toward his ultimate goal.
Going inside the competitive world of collegiate basketball and the strange experience of playing professionally in Europe, with paychecks that never arrive and a knee injury Lance's team didn't want to cover, Longshot recounts the moment when Lance hit rock bottom. When he came back to the United States for surgery, Lance was prepared to let go of his basketball dreams and become a high school history teacher like his dad.
But luckily he had an agent who didn't want to see Lance's dream die, and who found him a deal with the Idaho Stampede, an NBA Development League team in Boise. Although it was paltry pay, it was the last resort. And Lance slowly began to be noticed.
Revealing the resilient heart of a young man who truly believes that it's not about failure or success but about being willing to try, Longshot is a Rudy story for a new generation, a tale of inspiration, dedication, and the power of a dream.