About the Author

Steven Barwin

Steven Barwin is a middle school teacher. He is the author of Hurricane Heat in the Orca Sport series and several Lorimer Sports Stories novels, including Fadeaway, Rock Dogs, SK8ER and Icebreaker, which was chosen as a Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.

Books by this Author
Fadeaway

Fadeaway

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Excerpt

Chapter 1 Through a crowd of yellow and white jerseys, the basketball found my hand. I deflected it down into a shallow dribble. Then I brought the ball to the top of the key, in line with the net, and shouted, "Get open!" Looking around for someone to pass to, I saw my Hornet centre and best friend, Jessie. She was near the net. I looked to Emma deep in the corner, but the other team covered her worse than bees on honey. Between the arms of the girl covering me I found my shooting guard, Grace. She was small, but under her short black hair is the brain of a math genius. With quick calculation, she could determine the right speed and height to sink a three-pointer from the moon — if she wasn't being covered by someone taller. The thirty-second shot clock counted down in my head — ten, nine, eight . . . Through the Warrior players I eyed Caitlyn running a sharp V on the left side to the baseline. She shot back toward me, losing her cover on the way. I chest-passed the ball hard to her and she caught it running toward me. Six, five, four . . . I moved forward, past my cover, and Caitlyn side-passed the ball back to me. I drove deep into the key, cutting between two Warrior defenders. They tried their best to knock me, the ball, or both of us, down, but I came in with tornado-like speed. They didn't stand a chance. I moved from my right foot to my left foot, grabbed the ball in both hands, and pushed off the ground with my right foot. Soaring up and on an angle, I stretched up my right hand and fed the ball gently against the backboard and into the net — a perfect layup. Swoosh. I haven't heard a better sound in my twelve years on this planet. And by this planet, I don't mean I've lived anywhere cool like Paris or Dubai. Just a place called Richmond Hill. Back on the ground, I turned under the basket and slapped hands with Caitlyn. "Nice job, quarterback," Caitlyn said. "Don't you mean point guard?" I asked. Caitlyn smiled. "Same thing." On my way back into the Hornet half, I made sure to take a big high-five from Jessie. We've known each other as long as I can remember, since grade one, I'm pretty sure. We were always the only girls in gym class who were happy to be in gym. I remember upsetting the boys by beating them at, well, everything. They'd always try to do stupid boy things like change the rules at the last minute or fake horrible injuries. But in my book, a win is a win. "Nice bucket," Jessie said. "Thanks. What's going on with you and that Warrior centre?" "Just giving me a hard time. She's stronger on her right, so I'm switching to the left side." "That's playing with your brains." I refocused on the play when the Warriors turned up their offensive game. They were coming at us fast. "Hands up and take them to the line!" I called. It wasn't a shout or an order, just good communication, helping everyone play a heads-up game. "Cover Number 11, Renna!" I spotted Coach Philip pointing with his clipboard from the sidelines. Warrior Number 11 had the ball. She tried to fake me left, right, then left, but I just stood in front of her with my elbows bent and my hands up, blocking her shot, pass, and vision. I had worked too long and too hard this season to give up this game and our first-place position in the league. Coach had wanted one practice a week, but I had convinced him that two were needed. Number 11 called out angrily to her teammates, "Get open!" I noticed the C on her jersey. A captain should never talk to her team that way. She pivoted around me, clipping my shoulder on the way, and when she passed the ball I managed to get some skin on it. The ball bounced clumsily on the hardwood and reached the shooting guard, who lined up to the net and released a three-point shot. The ball bounced off the rim and landed in the hands of Emma. Before I could say, "Pass to me," I heard Coach shout out, "Time!" The referee blew his whistle. I noticed Number 11 was reaming out her shooting guard for missing the bucket. I scurried back to the bench in need of a towel and some cold water. "Gather around, everyone." Coach Philip wiped sweat off his forehead and stared down at his clipboard like it was the source of all magical basketball plays. "Catch your breath, drink some water." I had Coach Philip as a teacher last year, in grade six. I knew he didn't have the experience the other team's coach had. Philip continued. "Clock's running down. There's only a minute-twenty left in the game and we're ahead by two." "So?" I had to ask, as the Hornets captain. "So, I say we run down the clock." "We can't do that Coach." "Well, then, what do you recommend we do?" I said, "Get an insurance basket," surprised that everyone else wasn't already thinking that. "I don't know if that's a good idea." I watched him look down at his clipboard again. One time at practice I took a peek and saw that he had pages printed off from the Internet on it. Jessie jumped in. "She's right. One more would guarant

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Hardball

Hardball

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Hurricane Heat

Hurricane Heat

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Icebreaker

Icebreaker

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover Paperback
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Rock Dogs

Rock Dogs

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
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