Taking nothing away from LeBron James and Stephan Curry, the real NBA champions this week were youths participating in the BookUp after0-school reading through the community based organization CAMBA in Flatbush and I.S. 318 in Williamsburg.
That after a team of writers bested a team made up of publishing industry people, 37-31, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights this week in the National Book Foundation’s second annual charity basketball game for their BookUp after-school reading program for underserved youth.
The inspiration for “The Other NBA” game came from Twitter’s occasional confusion between the The National Book Awards which uses the #NBAwards and the National Basketball Association which uses #NBA.
The writers won last year 55-40 and the game raised $6,000 for the Foundation’s after-school reading program. The National Book Foundation is the presenter of the National Book Awards.
Included on the Writers team this year were Mitchell S. Jackson (winner of a Whiting Award and The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence); Téa Obreht (National Book Award Fiction Finalist), Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Longlisted for National Book Award in Poetry); and Natalie Diaz (author of When My Brother Was an Aztec).
Among those on the Publishers team were Katie Freeman (Associate Director of Publicity at Riverhead Books); (Chris Jackson, editor of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me); and Calvin Reid (senior news editor at Publishers Weekly).
The National Book Foundation‘s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. In addition to the National Book Awards, for which it is best known, the Foundation’s programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners.