Make It, Take It
By Rus Bradburd
An inventive novel, Make It, Take It sneaks the reader past the press conferences, locker rooms, and huddles of college basketball. Without judgment or sentimentality, Rus Bradburd lays bare the web of conflicts between players and coaches, blacks and whites, revealing the complex humanity of a team's inner circle. Here, every choice has a very real cost.
Steve Pytel is an assistant coach and top recruiter for a university basketball program. His goals are simple. He wants to keep his job and be a head coach someday. Keeping his wife barely makes the list. The team staggers; everyone's days are numbered. Pytel was responsible for landing prized recruits Leonard Redmond and Jamal Davis. Pytel's duties now? Keep Leonard out of jail. Make sure Jamal ignores the advice of his preacher, sidesteps his girlfriend's pregnancy, and puts the ball in the basket. Good thing Pytel doesn't carry around a bagful of scruples.
About the Creators
RUS BRADBURD is the author of Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richard (HarperCollins) and Paddy on the Hardwood: A Journey in Irish Hoops (UNM Press). He spent fourteen years as a college basketball coach, working for legends like Don Haskins and Lou Henson. He quit coaching in 2000 to earn an MFA from NMSU, where he currently teaches.