The Matt Tavares graphic novel Hoops is the most fun I have had with a basketball story since Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang. Based on real events, this is a great story for fans of graphic novels, basketball (girls/women’s, boys/men or either), or a great friend’s story.
We follow the brand-new girls’ basketball team where basketball is king and the players royalty. That is, if they are the boys team. The newly formed girls’ team is expected to wash their own uniforms (which that had to find themselves), they are expected to find their own rides (thankfully their coach has an uncle with an RV) and even expected to use the elementary school gym for practice. And oh yeah, that coach? They did not have one for the first few practices as the school/athletic department felt a coach should be on a volunteer bases, and not paid, and she had an entirely different opinion. Title IX is on the books, but the school is dragging its feet. But our players know how to hustle, and not just on the courts and t hey know how to stand up for themselves and their new teammates.
As mentioned, this book is based on the real Indiana team that would start out as underdogs and take it all the way to the first even girls basketball championship. The author afterwards shows how reality and fiction mixed, and how it all came to be. The friendships the girls had, make and the loyalty they have to both old and new friends, (plus an RV called Winnie) shows that this is not just a basketball story but a story about overcoming odds, and being the best you can be.