The tough tale of a school basketball staff who carried an technology’s brightest hopes—racial unity, social mobility, and the triumph of the underdog—However whose luck was once quickly adopted by way of a stunning downfall

“A masterpiece of American storytelling.”—Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize–profitable writer of Satan within the Grove


The unlikeliest of champions, the 1949–50 Town School Beavers had been unusual by way of every degree. New York’s Town School was once a training-loose, advantage-based totally School in Harlem recognized way more for its highbrow achievements and political radicalism than its athletic prowess. Best years after Jackie Robinson broke the Top League Baseball colour barrier—and at a time while the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation was once nonetheless segregated—every unmarried member of the Beavers was once both Jewish or African American. However All the way through that exceptional season, below the steering of the mythical former participant Nat Holman, this unheralded team of Town youngsters could stun the basketball international by way of changing into the one staff in historical past to win the NIT and NCAA tournaments in the similar 12 months.

This staff, Although, proved to be unusual in otherwise: All the way through the next season, all the staff’s beginning 5 had been arrested by way of New York Town detectives, charged with conspiring with gamblers to shave issues. Nearly in a single day those liked heroes became fallen idols. The tale facilities on teammates and shut buddies, Eddie Roman and Floyd Layne, one white, one black, every stuck up within the scandal, every on the lookout for a trail to private redemption. Although banned from the NBA, Layne persevered to commit himself to basketball, educating the sport to younger folks in his Bronx group and, in the end, with Roman’s lend a hand, discovering any other more or less triumph—one who no person will have expected.

Drawing on interviews with the surviving contributors of that championship staff, Matthew Goodman has created an indelible portrait of an technology of smoke-stuffed arenas and Borscht Belt resorts, while School basketball was once way more well-liked than the pro sport. It was once a time while gangsters managed unlawful sports activities having a bet, the police had been on their payroll, and everybody, it gave the impression, was once getting wealthy—apart from for the younger males who in fact performed the video games. 

Tautly paced and wealthy with length element, The Town Game tells a tale each dramatic and poignant: of political corruption, duplicity in large-time School sports activities, and the deeper which means of athletic luck.