The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA
By Lance Allred
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780061718588, 272pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Lance Allred won Utah's high school player-of-the-year award. After playing for the University of Utah for two years, a dispute with his coach led Allred to transfer to Weber State, where he graduated with a double-major in English and history. Lance is a 6' 11" center who played professionally in Europe and then in the NBA Development League. In April 2008, Lance signed on as a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In a devastatingly honest and poignant book of family, basketball and life, Lance Allred, the best writing big man ever, mesmerizes with a memoir born of the cruelty and inspiration of a game that could never hold him down.
-Adrian Wojnarowski, author of The Miracle of St. Anthony
“Lance Allred is excruciatingly honest without ever feeling sorry for himself. His painful and hilarious odyssey is more inspiring and triumphant than the story of any NBA championship. Allred has written The Glass Castle of pro sports.”
-Ian Thomsen, senior NBA writer, Sports Illustrated
“Longshot is more than a remarkable sports story. It’s a reminder of how much can be accomplished when you never give up on a dream.”
-Rudy Ruettiger, subject of the original major motion picture "Rudy"
“What an incredible life. Lance’s story proves that the trials and tribulations he faced made him stronger.”
-Jim Morris, author of THE ROOKIE
Longshot is a must read! It will inspire you and entertain you at the same time.
“An inspiration for anyone who’s ever wanted to succeed at anything that appeared out of reach.”
-Kenny Mayne, from the Foreword
“Hoosiers meets Big Love with a dash of Crime and Punishment. You will never look at an NBA player, particularly those at the end of the bench, the same way again.”
-Ric Bucher, senior writer, ESPN The Magazine
In an ingratiating, self-deprecating style...[Allred’s] is a genuinely unlikely story, but he relates it with humor, insight, and compassion.
A Paul Shirley–esque tale of a basketball outsider....a welcome departure from cookie-cutter sports autobiographies.
“Allred’s voice is humorously self-deprecating and youthfully winning.”
“A fascinating read.”
-The Salt Lake Tribune
“Much more than a feel-good, you-can-do-it-if-you-try chronicle. It is a gutwrenchingly honest account of a man whose story would be mesmerizing no matter what career path he chose.”
“A harrowing and moving look at Allred’s life growing ... In 250 riveting pages, Allred honestly, breezily and often hilariously recounts his life . . . His personal and familial history alone is worth the read . . .”
“In the land of recycled and formulaic sports bios, this book by a deaf, fundamentalist Mormon kid is definitely worth a read.”
-Salt Lake City Weekly
“If interesting life experiences are the mark of a good autobiography, then Lance Allred has a good head start.”
-Davis County Clipper
“If there’s a prototypical path to a hoops career, Lance Allred didn’t take it. He’s not an NBA giant, but Allred’s memoir is inspiring.”
“More than a story about how he beat the odds and wound up one of the best rebounders in the NCAA ... and then played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s a personal account of Allred’s struggle to rebound from challenges and make peace with himself.”
“He hasn’t just authored one of basketball’s most remarkable young lives, but a moving and funny memoir, ‘Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA,’ which was published in May.”
“The book is more than just about Allred’s time in the NBA and in the D-League. It’s also about his time at the University of Utah and growing [in] a polygamist colony...”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A wry and inevitably dramatic autobiography...”
-Wall Street Journal Online
“Beyond writing about his life in the game of basketball, Allred honestly portrays his life story in such a way that readers may feel they are sharing his journey.”