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The Eulogy of Pittsburgh's Schenley Spartans by Mark Hostutler

The Eulogy of Pittsburgh's Schenley Spartans

by Mark Hostutler

110 pages
A chronicle of Western Pennsylvania’s premier scholastic basketball program.

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Category: Sports
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About the Book
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, amateur athletics in America have endured radical changes, facelifts that have rendered certain sports -- high school basketball in particular -- almost unrecognizable to an older generation of fans. Deficiencies in our urban-education system, the proliferation of charter schools, the lure of private schools, and an AAU culture sensationalized by the media have all prompted shifts in the hoops landscape. Rarely do the country’s top recruits attend their local public school and represent the neighborhoods that shaped their development on the court. Their sense of loyalty has vanished, replaced by the desire for increased opportunity and exposure.

In The Eulogy of Pittsburgh’s Schenley Spartans, Mark Hostutler profiles one of a dying breed of scholastic basketball teams: the inner-city powerhouse built with homegrown kids who give hope to a downtrodden community.

The first high school in the United States with a million-dollar price tag, Schenley opened in 1916 and lived for nearly a century, manufacturing success stories in a variety of fields. Its death, however, has become a metaphor for our nation’s restructuring of public education and its impact on sports.

During the 2006-07 season, DeJuan Blair, D.J. Kennedy, and DeAndre Kane formed the nucleus of the greatest team the Steel City has ever produced and arguably the most talented group in Western Pennsylvania history. Before they took the collegiate ranks by storm or ever earned a paycheck playing the game, they set out to capture Schenley’s first state championship in 29 years, a period dominated by schools in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Hostutler puts into perspective the Spartans’ achievements in an era when the best scholastic squads are the ones taking full advantage of the transfer epidemic sweeping the country.

 

 

About the Author
Mark Hostutler is a former award-winning journalist at the Delaware County Times and author of Heads of State: Pennsylvania’s Greatest High School Basketball Players of the Modern Era, a book that profiles the best scholastic players in the state’s history. His work has appeared in SLAM and the Basketball Times.

 

 

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