John Coy
John Coy
author • speaker • educator


Box Out by John CoyQ. How did you come to write Box Out?

A. Three individuals were important in the idea for Box Out and I don’t even know their names. I noticed the three while I was doing research on my previous novel Crackback. At the end of a football game, all the players on both teams were invited by their coaches onto the field to say the Lord’s Prayer. These three players were the only ones from either team who stayed on the sideline. I wondered what they were thinking and why they had made their decision.

As I researched coach-led prayer in public schools, I found it is far more common than people realize. Students and teachers at schools where coaches lead pre-game prayers often have no idea it is occurring in their schools.

I wanted to write a book about a teen who is torn between his love for basketball and his belief that what his coach is doing is not right. I also wanted to write about girls’ basketball, which has become very popular, but this popularity is not reflected in Young Adult books.

In Box Out, Liam Bergstrom struggles to find his voice and discovers his connection to basketball is different than he thinks.

One of the Top Ten Sports Books for Youth —Booklist

Listen to John reading an excerpt from Box Out along with an introduction to the story.

All-USA Team Member Pick

For the 2011 All-USA high school football team chosen by USA TODAY, the defensive player of the year is Jadeveon Clowney, a senior at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C. When asked for the “Best book you’ve read recently” he replied “Box Out.”


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