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Recruiting Blue Chip Prospects, by Ken Hogarty

Recruiting Blue Chip Prospects exposes the high-stakes college recruitment of T.R. Ward, an African-American basketball phenom. The novel spotlights Ward’s senior classmate and friend, Patrick Kiernan, himself recruited by a local sports editor to chronicle Ward and the team’s season. Realistic relationships run the gamut as conflicts abound, and relationships get tested.

The narrative, set in 1991 but framed to provide a final jolt into the present, features memorable characters, including Patrick’s girlfriend and mom, his favorite teacher and school dean, and various villains, some with realistic backstories rationalizing unsavory choices.

Hogarty, a retired principal, has experienced high-level scholastic athletic successes and concerns. His story, subtly alluding to essential works in American literature, anticipates today’s reality in which Blue Chip prospects get recruited with NIL cash payouts, often from prep schools founded to provide lucrative collegiate and professional paths for top athletes.

Ultimately, however, the fictional account reveals that youths and adults all get recruited to others’ versions of the truth, sometimes unwittingly.

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