Women's basketball is often overlooked as a true sport. One rarely realizes it is different than men's basketball, not only in how it is played but the attitude or purpose of why it is played.
In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle shares the account of a high school girls' basketball team's journey. The Amherst Hurricanes almost made it to the top the previous year, losing in the Massachusetts State Tournament. This work follows the long road back up and beyond in the 1992-1993 season.
The book contains not only the team's journey to the top but the players' individual journeys. We not only see the strong articulate opinions of each through their actions but we read it in their words. This work is filled with their insights on basketball, victory, struggles as young women today, and "losing the fire." This team, from Jamila Wideman, the star point guard of the Amherst Hurricanes (now of the Stanford Cardinals), to Carrie Tharp, a young JV player, uses its growing inventory of wisdom to encourage each other on and off the court, embodying the true meaning of "team." It is the Hurricanes' story of their metamorphosis to become the Massachusetts 1993 State Champions, as well as intelligent, strong women.
In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle gave me an awareness of the true meaning of victory and work. It showed me that in a world where sports are becoming more corrupt, determination still prevails. It truly is a book of hope. Blais' work affirmed my love for basketball and served as a reminder that hard work eventually pays off. These girls not only captured the victory of a state championship but a personal victory of a lifetime.
Through this masterpiece, the audience can gain inspiration and a true example of virtue. I would recommend this to anyone looking for inspiration with a remote interest in basketball or the strength of young women
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.