Not Just A Coffee Table Sports Book

Redemption, Carolina Basketball’s 2016-17 Journey from Heartbreak to History, by Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner, Matt Bowers, 224 pages, UNC Press, $35.00.

“Redemption,” the 2017 UNC men’s basketball championship book, is more than a coffee table book for fans. The book provides behind-the-scenes background, anecdotes plus pre and post-game highlights. Book was written by three UNC Sports Communications veterans, Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner, Matt Bowers, and is different from the 2009 championship book, which was heavily weighted with game reports.

The new book also has extensive quotes based on lengthy interviews with coaches and players, and the authors’ unfettered access to everything related to Carolina basketball and reflects the enthusiasm of the players.

To me the most interesting aspects were the non-game events, like pre-season practice at Fort Bragg, the “secret” scrimmage at Memphis and visit to the Civil Rights Museum with an impressive talk by UNC super-fan Rusty Carter, Christmas shopping for kids’ gifts, events not tracked in detail by the daily media.

With the shrinking print role in covering college basketball, the book fills in the gaps on the season–big stuff like team chemistry, player injuries and reactions to wins and losses, as well as the more personal side of UNC players, coaches. There are plenty of pictures, but you need to read the story.