NBA Star Ricky Pierce Bounces Into Children's Books With Release of First Title
Sugar Land, TX, Feb 22, 2008 -
Retired NBA star Ricky Pierce made a name for himself as one of professional basketball's most reliable shooters. Now, Pierce, who was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1987 and 1990 and an All-Star in 1990, has entered a different kind of court: the world of children's books.
Pierce's first entry, the beautiful full-color "Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure," combines Pierce's love for sports, children and reading and adds an important message of acceptance. This is a charming story of a friendly basketball who learns a valuable lesson with the help of some friends. All the pieces of playground equipment are excited for the end of the rainy season, except Bouncing Billy, a basketball with some unique-but unusual-spots on his side. He's worried his different appearance will make him a benchwarmer when the recess bell rings.
His pals in the equipment locker, however, are quick to point out that differences are what make each of them specially suited to what they do, whether it's facilitating a game of jump rope or football. That's when Bouncing Billy discovers his "spots" are actually key finger-position markings, giving young basketball players a leg-up on shooting. As sounds of "swoosh!" ring out again and again over the playground, Bouncing Billy finds he's a slam-dunk just the way he is.
"Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure" marks a whole new ballgame for the Rice University star, who also played for the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics. But it continues an effort to positively impact the lives of youngsters first began during his pro years, when Pierce would often read to grade-school age youth at schools and hospitals. Having three children of his own, he says, only reinforced the importance of reading to kids, spurring him on to his latest endeavor. "Books are essential learning tools for emerging readers, and as a child I truly had limited access to books in the home," says Pierce. With artwork by renowned children's book illustrator Bobbi Switzer, "Bouncing Billy" boasts a vibrant, colorful and fun cast of characters, with each one-from the grizzled Fred the football to the bookish tennis ball called Ted-imbued with a unique personality. Children are sure to connect with the recognizable playground setting and its lovable inhabitants as they learn an important life lesson while improving their reading skills.
About the book:
Bouncing Billy by Ricky Pierce
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of publish: Feb 2008
About the author:
Ricky Pierce retired from the National Basketball Association in 1998, where he scored a total of 14,467 points. He boasts a shooting record of 49.3 percent from the floor and 88.5 percent from the foul line during his 16-year NBA career. Pierce was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1987 and 1990 and an All-Star in 1990. He is the creator and inventor of the AccUShot22 Basketball, which aids children and adults in ball-handling shooting skills. The Bouncing Billy Active Play Kit, for ages three to six, followed. "Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure" is the first in a series of planned children's books. Pierce lives in Texas with his wife, Joyce, formerly of the multi-Grammy award-winning group, The Fifth Dimension, along with their three children, Christian, Rachel, and Aron.
Yes, Billy: Everyone Is Different. No two manuscripts are not on fire.