Fred Bowen

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

*Finalist, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 2013-2014. Grades 6-8.

*Scholastic Reading Counts™ title
*Accelerated Reader™


School Library Journal

…a nice blend of game action, lessons in discipline, and even some actual history of Holcombe Rucker Park in New York City, famous for its All-Star list of some of the greatest names in basketball. Bowen knows sports and his audience, and he scores again with Real Hoops.
—Kate Kohlbeck


…chock-full of suspenseful game action.
— John Peters, Booklist

Midwest Book Review:

Real Hoops is the latest chapter book …in the author's very popular and successful sports story series. Real Hoops spins the hoops tale of the recruitment of Hud, a talented, showy player new to the concept of team playing. Ben tries to open his eyes to getting beyond the self-oriented hot shot style, and integrating some genuine sportsmanship and team awareness into the mix. Real Hoops is a sure bet to hook the most reluctant reader age 7-12 who just also happens to be a basketball fan.

Real Hoops

The Story

Ben’s looking for a point guard for his school’s basketball team and finds the perfect one when he sees a kid named Hud playing at a local rec center. Lucky for Ben, Hud is transferring to Ben’s school in a few weeks. Hud can run, pass and shoot at top speed. But there’s a problem: he’s not much of a team player. Can Ben convince Hud to leave his hot-shot style back at the rec center and help the whole team wins some games?

The History

Some famous players started playing ball at playgrounds and rec centers. One of the most famous basketball playgrounds is “The Rucker” in New York City, where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the leading scoring in the history of NBA, started out. Some other guys at the playground looked pretty good too. But playground ball is not “real hoops.” Playing for a team – like a school team or a professional team – is where players are really tested.