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Michael Kelly on 'TRBOC'

Michael Kelly, metro columnist for the Omaha World Herald, reviewed “The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central”, and called it “entirely credible” and “well-researched”.

The World-Herald has a pay-as-you-go firewall to Kelly’s columns. So here it is:

Book rebounds to timely topic: hoops, race

Michael Kelly
Omaha World Herald
March 11, 2011

More than four decades ago, a George Wallace speech at the Civic Auditorium ignited race riots and the sudden switch of the state boys basketball tournament from Omaha to Lincoln. This week, the news again was about race.

On the eve of the 2011 tournament, black referees objected Wednesday to the Nebraska School Activities Association board that only two of 22 eligible African -American refs were assigned to tournament games.

Journalist and author Steve Marantz, a 1969 graduate of Omaha Central High, delves into the question of race with a new book, “The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ’68 Racial Divide.”

Wertheim on 'Scorecasting'

How many sports reporters check the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court for potential stories? How many have a law degree from Penn? As far as we know, L. Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated belongs to a club of one. A recent Wertheim story, “Wrongly Accused”, about an Omaha man wrongly convicted of murder puts both his legal acumen and writing skill on display.

Wertheim has trotted the globe as a tennis writer.  His work  has been cited in The Best American Sports Writing anthology four times, as well as Best American Crime Writing.  He is the author of six books, including the new Scorecasting, which combines a bit of Freakonomics with a bit of Malcolm Gladwell.

He explained why his story opened and closed at Omaha Central High School, our alma mater, and offered some thoughts about punting on fourth down, in this interview.