Man In the Middle
John Amaechi w/Chris Bull
John Amaechi is an amazing man with tremendous courage and heart. Born in the US,raised by a single mother while living in the UK,overcoming a bad childhood to develop into a world class basketball player would be story enough in this compelling story. But the trials and trails that Amaechi went through was compounded by one other fact,he was a gay. And being gay in a US professional sports league and being found out is a career killer.
John Amaechi is a very special player and man. Reading his story is a fine example of overcoming all sorts of terrible odds,be it a life-threatening injury,dealing w/the world of NCAA basketball,fighting one’s own sexual questions in a world where there are no easy answers.
Amaechi laid back writing style is also refreshing,its not a gossipmonger type of of “kiss and tell” that passes for sports journalism these days. He tells it like it was,but the GAME isn’t the most important part of John,his love for his kids,be it as a mentor at Penn State or later on in the NBA and his love for his hard working single mom really grips the reader.
The pressure and loneliness of being a gay male in such hostile conditions (his own lockeroom) is also telling just how little pro sports has come in acknowledging some of its best players may be gay. Can you even imagine what the reaction would be if LeBron James or Gilbert Arenas came out during the peak of thier careers?
While John early career in the NBA was not so promising,in fact he played all over Europe while sharpening up his skills. He was cut from many NBA teams in training camp before catching on w/Orlando at age 29. After a miracle year in Orlando,rather then take the free agent money and run,he stayed on after passing up a 17 million dollar deal w/the Lakers.
But broken promises led to John landing in Utah,not exactly known for supporting a gay lifestyle. It was here that he was allowed himself to BE himself but suffered for it in playing time.
John retired from the NBA and is now in the UK,helping his country develop the love and passion for basketball that the rest of the world seems to have.
I highly recommend this book…..and in fact,I will give away a copy of it to the 3rd person who leaves a comment on the comment section.
Just leave me a email addy so I can find out where to send your book.