I wasn’t really going to go but I thought I’d check out the line at half past noon at the Barnes & Noble a few blocks down, and lo and behold there was none, so I bought my books and walked up to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Before I headed down, I already knew that there was a 3-book maximum for Pick-up Posse Book One: Sasquatch in the Paint (Streetball Crew), and I wanted to make sure I picked the book for the proper recipient. One, of course, was for my personal collection of first edition autographed books. The second and the third was a toss up between several young men I knew were into basketball, and who would probably appreciate getting an autographed book from one of our all-time basketball greats.
I hadn’t really made up my mind by the time I went to the top of the line, and then I got stumped when one of the Barnes & Noble personnel asked for a name for personalization. This is usually not offered during book signings, so I had to think quick. My 4 or so young basketball hopefulls had to be trimmed to two. Hmmmm…
The first one was easier, the son of a dear, dear friend of mine from way back when I was in College. It so happened that this was a friend who was tough to get a present for because he literally has everything and more than I could ever hope to get for him. His eldest boy is now grade school (or is it high school) and is part of the basketball team, and while I have never met the young man, I feel I know him because it’s his Facebook account I’m part of as his Dad has none.
The second was tougher because I have several nephews I was thinking of, all who are not actually related to me by blood, but who are favorite “nephews” by choice. I had to think quickly because the guy was waiting to write the name it was to be personalized to, and I came up with a young man who just requested me to get him some Nike KD socks in recent weeks.
It is my hope that they will find some form of inspiration in the book and Kareem’s message to the young.
And that was that. I think I’ll take a stab at reading the book even if it’s obviously juvenile reading. I’ve learned not to knock the genre because The Hunger Games Trilogy is originally of the same target audience. My son refers to this as ‘chapter reading’ now, compared to the elementary story books the younger kids read.
After he signed the books, I was given an autographed trading card which was an unexpected treat — in hindsight now, I think I should’ve pressed for another one.
Alas, no pictures of me with Kareem, but I did manage to snap up these pics of the basketball legend.
Book signing alert for Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue next week: October 1, 12nn
Break Out!: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers
and Live an Extraordinary Life