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An African Rebound

A Novel

It is 1989, and Jim Keating has hit absolute rock bottom. He’s lost his wife to cancer, his house to bankruptcy, and his job as a college basketball coach to what many outsiders believed to be a racially insensitive career-ending decision. He has also just about lost his mind, having slipped into a bout of serious depression. Attempting to pick up the pieces and start life over, Jim returns home to Worcester and rents a small apartment.

Word gets out that the legendary Jim Keating has returned home, and everyone is eager to see him, despite what they’ve read in the news. In high school and college, Jim had been a star athlete. After a stint in the Army, he took a job as a college basketball coach. Although the teams and leagues changed over the years, Keating’s passion for basketball and commitment to the players he coached never faltered. Recognizing this, an old friend makes Jim an offer designed to help him restart his career.

Soon, Jim finds himself in Burundi, Africa, where he is to create a basketball league that will bring two warring tribes—the Hutus and the Tutsis—together peacefully. These tribes have been in a civil war for years, and government officials believe one of the ways to guide them to peace is through sports. In Burundi, Jim has the chance to recommit himself to basketball, rediscover his true self, and bring peace to a nation in turmoil.

Dan Doyle received his MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for International Sport. While in this position, Doyle founded the World Scholar-Athlete Games, National Sportsmanship Day, and the Center for Sports Parenting. A former high school and intercollegiate men’s basketball coach, he achieved a career record of 142–45 and led the Trinity College men’s team to national success.

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