"Slam!" is the story of Greg "Slam" Harris, a young basketball player of 17 who not only runs the point but also dunks at will, hence his nickname. The author, Walter Dean Myers, a prior Newbery Honor recipient, used his own background growing up in Harlem to write this coming-of-age story of a young hoops player trying to find his own way on the harsh blacktop.
Slam has an outstanding basketball game, but his temper is just as quick and hard as his drives to the basket. However, in school, his performance is a different story. Unfortunately, his teachers are not willing to let things slide just because of his basketball abilities. This gives him some major headaches.
Slam has seen other ballplayers with ability leave the neighborhood, many the hard way, but a few have headed for glory. He knows that he has the ability to go all the way to the huge arenas, but he also might hit the skids like his friend Ice. Fixing his problems in school are his first challenge without a basketball in his hand.
Myers has written many books for children and young adults, including "Monster" and "Fallen Angels." He has two Newbery Honors, the Michael J. Printz Award and five Coretta Scott King Awards.