The Rebounders

The Rebounders

A Division I Basketball Journey

Amanda Ottaway

304 pages
no index


March 2018


$29.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Unlike the stories of most visible Division I college athletes, Amanda Ottaway’s story has more in common with those of the 80 percent of college athletes who are never seen on TV. The Rebounders follows the college career of an average NCAA Division I women’s basketball player in the twenty-first century, beginning with the recruiting process when Ottaway is an eager, naive teenager and ending when she’s a more contemplative twentysomething alumna.

Ottaway’s story, along with the journeys of her dynamic Wildcat teammates at Davidson College in North Carolina, covers in engaging detail the life of a mid-major athlete: recruitment, the preseason, body image and eating disorders, schoolwork, family relationships, practice, love life, team travel, game day, injuries, drug and alcohol use, coaching changes, and what comes after the very last game. In addition to the everyday issues of being a student athlete, The Rebounders also covers the objectification of female athletes, race, sexuality, and self-expression.

Most college athletes, famous or not, play hard, get hurt, fail, and triumph together in a profound love of their sport and one another, and then their careers end and they figure out how to move on. From concussions and minor injuries to classrooms, parties, and relationships, Ottaway understands the experience of a Division I women’s basketball player firsthand. The Rebounders is, at its core, a feminist coming-of-age story, an exploration of what it means to be a young woman who loves a sport and is on a course of self-discovery through that medium.

Author Bio

Amanda Ottaway is a journalist in New York City. She attended Davidson College on a full athletic scholarship and majored in English. Her work has appeared in the Nation magazine, the Washington Post, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other periodicals.


“With its special emphasis on what it means to be a female pursuing athletic excellence, Amanda Ottaway’s story is a welcome addition to the growing list of books addressing this subject. Unflinching and celebratory, The Rebounders captures the spirit of collegiate sport with both candor and joy.”—Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle and To the New Owners

“A personal, often poignant account of how hard it is to be a student-athlete, especially at a place like Davidson—and about what actually matters in the end.”—Michael Kruse, senior staff writer for Politico and author of Taking the Shot: The Davidson Basketball Moment

“This book, an exaltation of women in sports, is an important conversation about the space that women hold for one another; the knots we tie, the goals we reach, the urgency of college sports as experienced by women, and the sacred sorority of female athletes who seek excellence—and find it.”—Dominique Christina, author of This Is Woman’s Work: Calling Forth Your Inner Council of Wise, Brave, Crazy, Rebellious, Loving, Luminous Selves

Table of Contents

Note to the Reader
1. The Bubble
2. I Want You to Want Me
3. A Night with the ’Cats
4. Heading Home
5. Wet Season
6. Knocked Out
7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Sweatpants
8. A Postgame Surprise
9. A Team in Transition
10. Our Bodies, Everyone’s Business
11. Students or Athletes?
12. FTP
13. The Popularity Contest
14. The Dream

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