More Than Rivals

A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White

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A New York Times bestseller!


"A monster slam dunk that will impact your life."--Pat Williams, founder and senior vice president, Orlando Magic


In 1970, one small southern town was a powder keg ready to erupt.
But it was also on the verge of something incredible.

Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon grew up on opposite sides of the tracks in Gallatin, Tennessee. They knew the barriers that divided them--some physical landmarks and some hidden in the heart--but those barriers melted away when the boys were on the basketball court. After years of playing wherever they could find a hoop, Eddie and Bill rose as leaders of their respective high school teams. And at the end of the 1970 season, all-white Gallatin High and all-black Union High faced each other in a once-in-a-lifetime championship game. What happened that night would challenge Eddie and Bill--and transform their town.

A fast-paced true story of courage, determination, and forgiveness, More Than Rivals offers hope and inspiration for our times.

"A riveting true story. This book will inspire and touch the hearts of young and old alike."--Roscoe Orman, actor; entertainer; and for forty years played Gordon on Sesame Street

"Read it immediately. It is truly an outstanding story."--Charles Martin "C.M." Newton, former basketball coach, Vanderbilt University; former athletic director, University of Kentucky

"A true story about a friendship that transcended the past, reconciled the present, and imagined a new future."--Skip Prichard, CEO, OCLC; leadership insights blogger at www.skipprichard.com

"This book will make you laugh, cry, and want to get to know people who don't look like you. A must-read."--Yolanda Conley Shields, CEO, Let's Go Innovate; author, Letters to Our Sons


Ken Abraham is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including Against All Odds with Chuck Norris and Let's Roll with Lisa Beamer. His work has been featured on 20/20, Dateline, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The CBS Morning Show, The Today Show, and many more. Learn more at www.kenabrahambooks.com.


Endorsements

"A riveting true story of friendship between two boys--one black, one white--during the racially polarizing years of the Deep South. This book will inspire and touch the hearts of young and old alike."

Roscoe Orman, actor; entertainer; and for forty years the resident father figure Gordon on Sesame Street

"More Than Rivals, a book based on a true story from the 1960s, allowed me to reflect on how far we have come in this country and how far we still have to go. This book will make you laugh, cry, and want to get to know people who don't look like you or come from your same background. Unity is what will bring us together as a people, if we just take time to reach out and get to know others from a different race. I have learned over the years that real friendships are based not on the color of your skin but on the love and respect you have for one another. This book is a must-read for adults and teens."

Yolanda Conley Shields, CEO, Let's Go Innovate; author, Letters to Our Sons

"Simple, direct, and powerful--this is a story about how human kindness and understanding transformed a community. One act of kindness helped a community heal and transcend into a better, more inclusive town in the heart of America. A story of compassion that survives the decades of time . . . and the eternal truth that in the end, love wins. Add More Than Rivals to your library!"

Jack E. Pattison, lieutenant colonel, infantry, US Army (retired); president and owner, Pattison Enterprises

"More Than Rivals holds a candle with true light to a dark place we wish had never been. While it shares a painful journey, it also hints at a promise of the silver lining within the cloud, an engrossing history lesson in which spiritual redemption, sports, leadership, and brotherhood can bring young men and their town to an important crossroads. An informative and engrossing read that grabbed me in the first pages and never let me go."

Catkin Kilcher Burton, colonel, US Marine Corps (retired); president, Alaska Humanities Forum Board of Directors; CEO, Eagles Enterprises

"More Than Rivals offers a rewarding reading experience. You are taken back in time to witness the nostalgia of small-town America and the struggles of the segregated South. I strongly recommend that you purchase a copy of More Than Rivals and read it immediately. It is truly an outstanding story and shows me that Eddie and Bill (now adult friends) continue to have an important role in the lives of children and youth in Gallatin and throughout the New South."

Charles Martin "C.M." Newton, former basketball coach, Transylvania University, the University of Alabama, and Vanderbilt University; former athletic director, University of Kentucky; former chair, NCAA Rules Committee

"Ken Abraham is one of my favorite writers. More Than Rivals is a monster slam dunk that will impact your life in a powerful fashion."

Pat Williams, founder and senior vice president, Orlando Magic; author, It's Not Who You Know, It's Who You Are

"A championship basketball game was much more than what it appeared. The year was 1970, and this game was a reflection of a community on edge, at the crossroads of racial tension and hope. More Than Rivals is a true story about a friendship that transcended the past, reconciled the present, and imagined a new future."

Skip Prichard, CEO, OCLC; leadership insights blogger at Skipprichard.com

"I think the best stories in the world are the ones you'd never expect. Leave it to Ken Abraham to keep finding true stories that absolutely must be told."

Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio show host

"Dick and I played high school basketball in Indiana in the '60s, so More Than Rivals brought back many great memories for us. We loved the diversity of sports and loved playing, traveling, and living with teammates of a different color. If everyone would love like that, despite differences in skin color, it would be a better world. The players accepted and loved and appreciated one another. Most of all, we understood one another. The relativity of the blending of sports and race relations is more important today than ever before. More Than Rivals gives the reader a little of both sides."

Tom & Dick Van Arsdale, Indiana University All-Americans; twelve-year NBA players; three-time NBA All-Stars

"One of the best heartwarming and inspiring books I have read. Wow, powerful. Amazing how one act can change everyone's tone as it did that night in Gallatin."

Mark White, Tennessee state representative


The Author

  1. Ken Abraham

    Ken Abraham

    Ken Abraham is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including Against All Odds with Chuck Norris and Let's Roll with Lisa Beamer. His work has been featured on 20/20, Dateline, Larry King Live, Good...

    Continue reading about Ken Abraham


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