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How Sweet It Is

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"Jarrett Van Meter doesn't just write about the tradition and frenzy of Kentucky high school basketball, he descends into the world itself, like a paratrooper into the field, embedding himself with three teams from vastly different physical, economic and social settings. Yet all are bound by their undying love for this greatest of American games. The characters are portrayed in such a caring, detailed fashion and the highs for them are so high and the lows so low that How Sweet It Is seems more like a page-turner novel than non-fiction. Yet it's true. This is a work of passion and art and empathy. This is a beautiful book."

Rick Telander, Senior Sports Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
Author: Heaven Is a Playground


"Illustrating the perspective of three different teams was genius. Van Meter captures the diverse individual personalities and locker room environments of each program."

JR VanHoose
1996 Sweet Sixteen Champion and MVP
1998 Kentucky Mr. Basketball




KENTUCKY CROWNS ONLY ONE state basketball champion each high school season. There are no separate tournaments or trophies for schools with similar enrollments or religious affiliations. There is only one championship and one champion. 

How Sweet It Is chronicles the season-long quest of three geographically, socio-economically, and culturally diverse teams to reach the storied "Sweet Sixteen," played in Rupp Arena. The colorful, first-hand description of the players, coaches, and supporters of these teams is interlaced with stories from the rich history of Kentucky high school basketball. 

Related: Basketball

Related: High School