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Graduating from high school is supposed to feel like the beginning of your real life. But for Jackson O'Connell, it's more like a slew of endings. In this sequel to Hoops of Steel, Jackson's dream of a basketball scholarship is gone. His surrogate parent Granny Dwyer has died and he has no place to really call home. His relationship with Kelly is in crisis—Kelly is Princeton bound, while Jackson doesn't have a plan beyond the next five minutes. Even Jackson's alcoholic father seems to be getting his life together. Introduced to a gruff old sailor at Granny's funeral, Jackson reluctantly agrees to live at the marina and work at the boatyard. As Jackson experiences the rigors of working for a living and learning how to sail, he gains skills and self-knowledge. Is it enough to help him navigate the challenges he faces and set his own course for the future?
John Foley is a high school teacher in Washington State. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Chicago suburbs and Alaska, covering sports, cops, features and any other beat that didn't require him to attend sanitary sewer meetings. Following a career change to teaching, he worked in Alaskan villages for several years, which led to his memoir Tundra Teacher. Hoops of Steel is based in part on his experiences as a basketball player. Foley was second string on the junior varsity at a Division III school, but prefers to simply say that he "played college ball."