Hoop Dreams


Playing ball is what keeps Podium Sports Academy’s basketball captain going when things get rough. When there’s trouble back home, Allie turns to basketball. Ditto when her relationship is in trouble or when she’s at odds with her friends. But then tragedy strikes when an old knee injury resurfaces and Allie is told she might not be able to play again. With her hope of a future as an elite basketball player gone, Allie is overwhelmed with dark thoughts and feels she has nothing left to live for. That is, until unexpected support comes from two unlikely sources.



Best Book for Kids and Teens



  • Reading level: YA Teen
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Lorimer (March 19 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1459405875


“Allie leads a cast of well-drawn, multicultural characters, some of whom have starred in other Podium books, giving a cohesive feel to this fictional high school. The action flows naturally, alternating between scenes of intense basketball action, solitary angst, and hanging with friends. Readers will identify with Allie’s struggles and second-guess her choices, making this a valuable and worthwhile read for all teens — elite athletes or not. Gripping, relatable and fast-paced, these books will appeal to a wide-ranging audience, particularly to teens reading below age level.”
– Penny Draper National Reading Campaign

“Podium Sports Academy is a great concept. Take the pressures of a regular high school experience and dial them up tenfold — and you have Podium Sports Academy.”
– Resource Links

“A very well written book about teens in high school, who don’t have just the regular pressures of high school and growing up to deal with, but are also high performing athletes . . . Highly recommended to young readers.”
– Katarina Ortmann NetGalley reviewer

“The [Podium] series is designed to connect with teens by dramatically leading them through the possibilities their choices create and offering suggestions for successful outcomes. Author Lorna Schultz Nicholson achieves this without preaching to her readers.”
– Sherry Faller, Canadian Review of Materials (CM)