If you’ve ever been to a Virginia Cavaliers basketball at John Paul Jones Arena, you can bet that if you look to the first row around midcourt, you’ll see world-renowned author John Grisham, a staple in Charlottesville. Known to the rest of the world as the mastermind behind countless award-winning legal thrillers, his latest work is about an entirely different type of court: the basketball court.
In Sooley, his first basketball novel, Grisham writes about the story of Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon, a raw-talented, young player who comes to the United States to play basketball, only to learn that his family is in danger back home as a civil war rages across South Sudan.
Grisham recently went on CBS This Morning to promote the new book, where he broadcasted live from JPJ.
“We come to all the UVA games here at JPJ” Grisham said in his interview. “Tony Bennett’s a good friend and we admire him greatly. The program that he has run here, it’s something that we’re very proud of.”
You can watch the full interview here, including that preview that he apparently throws “great shade” at Duke. That alone makes it a worthwhile read.
Bestselling author @JohnGrisham is considered the "master of legal thrillers." Now, he's swapping the legal court for a sports court with his first basketball book, "Sooley."— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 27, 2021
Grisham joins us with more from @UVA's @JPJArena. pic.twitter.com/NdUsj64F9q
Grisham, who himself went to Mississippi State for undergrad and Ole Miss for law school, lives around Charlottesville with his spouse, Renee, a Carolina alum. His son, Ty, played for Virginia Baseball from 2002-2004, and he has made generous donations to the baseball program, largely credited for the expansion of Davenport Field.
You can purchase a copy of Sooley now at Amazon. (Affiliate link)