State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Agate Midway
Publish Date
5.6 X 1.3 X 8.7 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Melissa Isaacson is an award-winning sportswriter, author, and public speaker. In more than thirty years on the job, she has covered every major US sports championship as well as the Olympics. She has written for numerous publications, including long tenures at such institutions as ESPN and the Chicago Tribune. She was the Tribune's first woman columnist and beat writer on the Bulls and Bears, and she covered the Michael Jordan-led Bulls over their six NBA titles. She is currently on the faculty of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and lives in the Chicago area.


Praise for Melissa Isaacson's State

"For a reminder of how far girls and women have come in sports, turn to State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation... Isaacson is at her best when recounting personal stories of herself and her teammates, and also when she lays down historical markers to put the championship into context. . . . Those parts of the book will keep readers rapt."--The New York Times Book Review

"In State, Melissa Isaacson perfectly captures the birth of Title IX and a time when high school girls were starting to gain equality in sports and in the classroom, showing us how opportunities on the court can light a path for girls to become their authentic selves in all aspects of their lives." --Billie Jean King, founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative

"I have known and admired Melissa Isaacson for three decades but never understood where her unending passion for sports was born until I had the opportunity to read State. In this interesting and insightful journey to a different time, Missy provides a wonderful reminder about the lessons these games provide and the unbreakable bonds they create." --Mike Greenberg, ESPN host and New York Times bestselling author

"Here's the thing about a story whose ending is known: it needs to be told by a graceful writer, who can use humor in one sentence and tug heartstrings in the next. Melissa Isaacson's tale of her Niles West girls basketball team capturing a state championship after years of hard work and heartbreak is a wonderful read about determination and dreams realized. But it's bigger than that. It unflinchingly analyzes behaviors from a tricky time for anyone--high school--that is made trickier by the responsibilities of playing girls sports in a new world, the first few years after Title IX legislation. It captures the powerful bond of enduring relationships that stand the test of time, regardless of how much contact there has been in the years since. Perhaps most important, it reminds us all what can happen when individual desires are set aside for the greater good of a team. The power to create lasting memories is possible. What's best: Isaacson's words are merely the vehicle to speak for a transformative team." --K.C. Johnson, Bulls beat writer, Chicago Tribune

"State is storytelling at its finest. Melissa Isaacson will captivate readers with this long overdue memoir of heartache and triumph. Many will relate to the experiences Isaacson recaptures, and those who don't will gain a greater respect for trailblazers in women's sports. This book covers the scope and span of life as it can only be told by a daughter, a teammate, an athlete, and a friend. It is full of heart and history--a wonderful combination!" --Marjorie Herrera Lewis, author of When the Men Were Gone

"You've probably never heard of the 1975 Niles West High School girls' basketball team. But theirs is a terrific story, and as fate would have it, their player Missy Isaacson went on to become a superb writer. If you love sports, you'll love her fascinating, moving, funny, and richly reported account of how her team finally won state." --Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author

"The best sports stories aren't actually sports stories--they're stories about life, highs, lows, bonds, exceptionalism, tragedy. That's what makes Melissa Isaacson's State such a tremendous piece of work. You think you're reading about a girls' basketball team, only to discover you've been lifted to new emotional heights. What a terrific read." --Jeff Pearlman, author of Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton and Football for a Buck

"State is so much more than just another high school championship story. Melissa Isaacson brilliantly chronicles the individual and team backstory that created this special championship team. State also vividly captures the essence of why a young girl's equal opportunity to be educated through sport is a civil right and NOT merely a matter of quotas." --Doug Bruno, head coach of the DePaul University women's basketball team

"Melissa Isaacson has written a beautiful book about a time and place that is almost unfathomable to us now: when girls' and women's sports were not yet popular, widespread, or vital to our culture. And yet the pages of State come alive with the riveting story of a team of high school basketball players whose dreams took them to the place all athletes hope to go: a championship that lives with them to this day. This is their inspiring story. This is Title IX come to life." --Christine Brennan, USA Today columnist, CNN and ABC commentator, and author of Best Seat in the House and the bestselling Inside Edge