Finley is the only white kid on his basketball team. He's not the tallest, or the most talented, but he is the hardest-working player, and that has earned him his position as starting point guard. That hard work might just one day propel him out of his crime-infested ruin of a hometown.
So is Boy21 a sports novel? Not exactly.
Finley has played and trained - obsessively, single-mindedly - since he was ten years old, when something bad happened to his family and he found that shooting 500 free throws in a row allowed him to not think about it.
Is Boy21 a coming-to-grips-with-crisis novel? Not exactly that either.
Finley has time for only one thing in his life besides ball, and that's his girlfriend, best friend, and only friend, Erin. She is beautiful and the star of the girls' team and has a lot of patience. She gets along with Finley's drunk grandfather, his sorrowful father, and she loves Finley, even though he speaks rarely and breaks up with her every basketball season.
So it's a young love novel? Ok I know I'm getting annoying with this - I'll stop.