Extended Audio Sample

Download The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph, by Scott Ellsworth Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Scott Ellsworth Narrator: Scott Ellsworth Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $24.98 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $13.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The true story of the game that never should have happened

Something was happening to basketball.

In the wartime fall of 1943, at the little-known North Carolina College for Negroes, Coach John McLendon was on the verge of changing the game forever. Within six months, his Eagles would become the highest scoring college basketball team in America, a fast-breaking, hard-pressing juggernaut that would shatter its opponents by as many as sixty points per game. The last student of James Naismith, basketball’s inventor, McLendon had opened the door to its future.

Across town at Duke University, the best basketball squad on campus wasn’t the Blue Devils but was an all-white military team from the Duke medical school. Comprised of former college stars from across the country, they dismantled every team they faced, including the Duke varsity. They were prepared to play anyone—that is, until an audacious invitation arrived, one that was years ahead of anything the South had ever seen before.

Based on years of research, The Secret Game is a story of courage and determination and of an incredible, long-buried moment in the nation’s sporting past. The riveting true account of a remarkable season, it is the story of how a handful of forgotten college basketball players not only changed the game forever but also helped to usher in a new America.

Download and start listening now!

bliw

Quotes & Awards

  • There is a basketball on the cover, but this is much more than a story about basketball. Yes, there was a ground-breaking basketball game played in Durham, N.C., seven decades ago, and it is recounted in great detail by Scott Ellsworth. But what we really have here is indispensable social history. White people need to read this book. People of color need to read this book. Whoever you are, you need to read this book. Bob Ryan, Boston Globe, ESPN, author of Scribe: My Life in Sports
  • A powerful book that is a page-turner from start to finish.... Ellsworth has written an important book that should appeal to people of all colors. Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Tribune
  • A fascinating new work of cultural and sports history.... Through a mixture of oral history and archival research, Ellsworth captures the rich human details of a whole generation of largely forgotten basketball players. Nick Romeo, Boston Globe
  • It would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to overstate my admiration for Scott Ellsworth's magnificent The Secret Game. It's a book about race, a book about the South, a book about America, a book about the '40s, a book about change as well as how things remain the same. This is one of the smartest and most eloquent books I've come across in a long time. A masterpiece. Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Last Chances
  • “Ellsworth has unearthed the facts of this little-known but hugely important moment. His research is as overwhelming as his storytelling style is accessible and engaging.”

    Roland Lazenby, New York Times bestselling author

  • Ellsworth skillfully puts this story in the context of World War II, which forced this country to face -- albeit slowly -- its unjust treatment of those who also spilled blood to protect American democracy. He lets us know what happened to each of the players after the secret game -- their lives and their triumph no longer lost or forgotten. Cliff Bellamy, The Herald Sun
  • Riveting. Kevin Nance, Chicago Tribune
  • Amazing. Robert Gray, Shelf Awareness
  • Beautifully paced, its eloquence cloaked within a common touch. Jeff Calder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • A compelling story about basketball, race and transformation.... D.G. Martin, Winston-Salem Journal
  • [The Secret Game] should be read by anyone with an interest in basketball history, or American sports history. Or maybe even American history for that matter. Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal
  • Ellsworth tells their story in the vein of Seabiscuit and The Boys in the Boat.... He reminds us who heroes are and what they can be. Daniel Solzman, The Kentucky Democrat
  • Ellsworth chronicles a groundbreaking matchup....He weaves 50 years of story lines...[and] the takeaway is the unimaginable bravery of both teams. Lisa Sorg, Indy Week
  • Mesmerizing.... An elegant, deeply talented writer. Jennifer Conlin, frequent contributor to the New York Times
  • Engrossing... Chris Skaugset, The Daily News
  • A riveting, little-known story reminding readers of a rising generation of risk-takers who fought against Jim Crow laws and ushered in the Civil Rights Movement. Genesis Jackson, Duke Today
  • As a member of the Duke community, I have long been aware and proud of the secret game. Now Scott Ellsworth has brought it to light. The true story behind this extraordinary, long-buried game goes beyond any one school or any one state. The Secret Game is a triumphant look at how basketball has broken down barriers, and helped create a new kind of America. Every citizen needs to know this story--and to know it now. Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of Duke Men's Basketball
  • A historian with the soul of a poet, Ellsworth offers a remarkably nuanced, vibrant, and eloquent account of life in the South during WWII, and his portraits of the principal players in this secret drama are multitextured and complex. Wes Lukowsky, Booklist (starred review)
  • Ellsworth has unearthed a brave moment in basketball, forgotten to history, which resonates far beyond the court. Billy Heller, New York Post
  • Scott Ellsworth has unearthed the facts of this little-known but hugely important moment. His research is as overwhelming as his story-telling style is accessible and engaging. If you love basketball, truly love the game and all that it means in terms of this country and its civil rights history, you'll want to read and reread The Secret Game. Roland Lazenby, author of Michael Jordan: The Life
  • “What we really have here is indispensable social history. White people need to read this book. People of color need to read this book. Whoever you are, you need to read this book.”

    Bob Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Riveting.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A powerful book that is a page-turner from start to finish…. Ellsworth has written an important book that should appeal to people of all colors.”

    Tampa Tribune

  • “A historian with the soul of a poet, Ellsworth offers a remarkably nuanced, vibrant, and eloquent account of life in the South during WWII, and his portraits of the principal players in this secret drama are multitextured and complex.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Author Scott Ellsworth’s steady narration has just the right inflections of emotion. His well-researched stories and solid writing carry this book, a series of biographical portraits that culminate in the story of an unpublicized game between all-white Duke University and a little-known black college. Ellsworth’s voice gently shapes the stories of obscure players, and his research into the sport’s well-known vanguards—James Naismith, Phog Allen, John McClendon—is truly fascinating. Ellsworth’s reverence for basketball comes through in his narration as much as it does in his writing.”

    AudioFile

  • “As a member of the Duke community, I have long been aware and proud of the secret game. Now Scott Ellsworth has brought it to light. The true story behind this extraordinary, long-buried game goes beyond any one school or any one state. The Secret Game is a triumphant look at how basketball has broken down barriers and helped create a new kind of America. Every citizen needs to know this story—and to know it now.”

    Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of Duke Men’s Basketball

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2016 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations