47 pages 1 hour read

Gene Luen Yang

Dragon Hoops

Nonfiction | Graphic Memoir | YA | Published in 2020

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Chapters 4-7

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 4 Summary: “Coach Phelps”

The beginning of the fourth chapter flashes back again to the early days of basketball. In the absence of a national league, teams traveled from gymnasium to gymnasium and competed in a disorganized fashion. They often adopted names that highlighted their ethnicities, such as the Jewish House of David and San Francisco’s Hong Wah Kues. The Harlem Globetrotters—who were actually from Chicago—soon emerged as the most creative team, and one particularly gifted ball handler, Marques Haynes—who was criticized by his college coach for his unconventional style of play—attracted significant attention. The NBA formed in 1949 when the white-players-only Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the more progressive National Basketball League (NBL), which included four Black players. In 1947, a skirmish on the court between a Black player from the Syracuse Nationals and the white player Chick Meehan from the Tri-City Blackhawks resulted in a feud that required the attention of the National Guard. A two-page spread reading “Bump!” “Smack” and “Pow!” (116-7) features a play-by-play of the physical altercation. After this feud, Black players—with the exception of the Harlem Globetrotters—“disappeared” from the NBA. Despite this segregation, the Harlem Globetrotters invited the all-white Minneapolis Lakers to a well-attended game in 1948 in which Marques Haynes heroically played through an injury that left him in a body cast for months after he led the Globetrotters to a narrow victory.

Related Titles

By Gene Luen Yang