Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Above The Rim

Growing up, one of my dad's favorite stories to recount from his childhood was being driven home from a Minneapolis Lakers game to his home by Elgin Baylor, one of my dad's favorite players.

Somewhere in my mom's house is a scrapbook my dad kept with various Lakers programs in it and photographs and tickets from his love of this team and game.  (I feel bad that my dad's beloved team moved to Los Angeles leaving him without an NBA team to get to see).  

I was so excited to see Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant which is a fantastic picture book about this basketball legend.  

This is a beautiful picture book illustrated by Frank Morrison.  Not only does it tell the story of Baylor's life, it also incorporates how Baylor's life coincided with a variety of events in the Civil Rights movement.  

Baylor himself took a stand when he was traveling with the Lakers and was not allowed to eat with the rest of the team.  In a subsequent game, Baylor remained in street clothes, refusing to play until he was treated like a human being.  This statement led to the NBA instituting a policy of anti-segregation for all members of their teams. 

I always love learning about new and important people in our history.  And this is a great story about someone my dad looked up to on the basketball court.  I can't wait to share it with my students and nieces and nephews.

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