In playgrounds, school yards and driveways all across America, boys square off to work on their jump shot, dreaming of a career in pro basketball. For those few who make it, the rewards are undeniable – colleges compete for their attention, shoe companies vie for their endorsement, TV cameras turn them into celebrities and the nation applauds them as heroes. But in reality, big basketball is a cutthroat game, where promising recruits – some as young as eight – are subject to a brutal, high pressure torrent of scrutiny and exploitation. George Dohrmann, a Sports Illustrated writer, followed a group of talented young athletes bent on NBA superstardom, and writes about their heartbreaking journey through the major-league talent mill.
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