Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

*Scholastic Reading Counts! title
*Accelerated Reader title

•Finalist Maryland Children's Book Award



Bowen is quickly joining the ranks of today's most popular sports fiction authors. . . .The author scores points by including plenty of sports action to keep even the most reluctant readers flipping the pages. As in past books, he skillfully interweaves fact and fiction and uses historical sports plays and concepts as a backdrop for the story. Here he puts to rest the notion that "bigger is better." A must have for libraries needing good sports fiction.- Barb Lawler, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


This is an excellent book, where the author adroitly describes the lives of his well-defined characters. The author deftly interweaves UCLA's actual success into his narrative, even including a final chapter about the Bruins' 12 NCAA titles from 1964-1975. The story is also filled with skilled descriptions of playing basketball, making this title sure to please the young sports fan in your house. Reviewer: Bruce Adelson

Full Court Fever

The Story

The Falcons have lost the first two games of the season. They have the skill to win, but they have one big disadvantage — they're short! One of the kids discovers a 1965 Sports Illustrated article about the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins won two NCAA (college players) championships without any big guys. They outfoxed taller teams with something they called "The Full-Court Zone Press." Could that be the secret weapon to turn the Falcons around?

The History

In 1964 and 1965, the legendary coach John Wooden led his UCLA Bruins to NCAA championships with the full court zone press. When an opposing player got the ball, two Bruins ganged up on him. The press speeded up the game (a big advantage for the quick-moving Bruins) and forced the other team to make bad passes. In the following years, the Bruins didn't have to rely on the press. Wooden recruited some big guys, including Lew Alcindor — known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.