By Brian Holding
January 22, 2013
I have vivid memories of visiting my grandmother at her home in Detroit during the summer of 1967. Forty three people died and 467 more were injured during the city’s violent riots that July. More than 2,000 buildings were destroyed. I remember driving with my cousin through the devastated neighborhoods where ashes still smoldered. All I could see standing as we cruised down block after charred block were brick chimneys stretching into an empty sky.
Now, 45 years later, those memories were revived as I read HK’s first biography, Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge. Detroit, starting the summer before the riots, becomes a prominent character in the story of Bing’s rise to greatness in the NBA and in the business world, and the city continues to shape and be shaped by Bing as he now works to rebuild Detroit as its mayor.
At the same time HK is branching out to publish a multitude of digital formats, we also are publishing new genres. Biographies, like Bing’s, are part of a new publishing initiative for our consumer audiences. We also plan to produce more titles on history and social issues while we continue to publish outstanding instructional resources on sport and fitness.
Our biographies will go beyond the instant book about a current hero or championship team. We want to tell the story of individuals who excel at and transcend their sports. We seek authors who can bring people’s stories, and the times in which they lived, to life. Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge works on both of those levels. Author Drew Sharp takes the reader on Bing’s journey from his early life in Washington, D.C., when he severely injured his left eye (causing permanent damage) to his achievement as an All-American at Syracuse to his leadership of the Detroit Pistons during the Civil Rights movement to his starting a steel company in the depths of a recession to his current leadership of one of America’s most troubled cities.
Sharp, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, was HK vice president Ted Miller’s first choice to write the book. A native of Detroit, Sharp paints a panoramic picture of Bing’s life against the backdrop of the racial strife of the ’60s, the rapid development of the NBA, and the decline of Detroit. Along the way, you will meet many who have been touched by Bing’s life, including Jalen Rose, Mel Farr, Marvin Gaye, Bill Bradley, David Stern, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. You are left with Bing’s relentless will to succeed.
Coincidentally, Ted contracted Morgan Wootten to write the first book in HK’s Coaching Successfully series. It was Wootten, the legendary basketball coach at DeMatha High School in Washington, who picked Bing to play on a D.C. all-star team and then contacted Syracuse coach Kirk Lewis to come and scout him. At the time, no players from public high schools in Washington were recruited by major colleges. Before Bing entered Springarm High School, NBA great Elgin Baylor had played there—and he attracted no interest. He ended up playing at the College of Southern Idaho. By helping open the door to Syracuse, Wootten put Bing on a historic path, and we are excited to publish the story.
-- Brian Holding, CEO, email@example.com