The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other

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About the author:
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago de Chile.

He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago. EdCamp Chile 2013 was held at Universidad UCINF in Santiago. Plans for EdCamp Chile 2014 are currently in progress. Stay tuned for details.

Thomas is also a past member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of sixty two (62) books overall.

The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.

The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other

1980 Luxora Panthers

Authored by Thomas Jerome Baker

This book is a tribute to one of the greatest basketball teams I know, the mighty Luxora Panthers of 1980 (State Runner-Up). We were coached by Coach Charles Strong, a legend in his own time. We were a team of destiny, winning against all odds, beating every team we played in the district & regional championship playoffs, going all the way to the State Championship Finals. That final game, was anticlimactic after the Regionals, because we were not supposed to be there, in the state finals. No one expected us to advance past the Regionals, and when we did, they called us, "Luck-sora", instead of Luxora. They said it was luck, but we knew better. The last shot was what we played for. We owned the last shot, it was in our blood.

To get to the final, we had a date with destiny, no, to be exact, several dates with destiny, and always, it was always the last shot that decided our fate. That is the larger story told in this book. Yet there is an even greater story than that, because holding the entire story together is our legendary Coach, Coach Charles Strong.

Yes, a legend I say, that's what happens when you leave your mark, a tremendous legacy, on those lives you touch when you walk the Earth. Coach Charles Strong, you will meet him within the pages of this book, and you will truly know why he is a legend. His story is our story, and our story, is his story, for we shared our fate and met our destiny together, this team did.

You will find Coach Strong is a hero, a legend, not because of anything extraordinary that he did. No, Coach Charles Strong is a legend because of the extraordinary way he did ordinary things, turning young boys into men of character, with values and principles, year in and year out, through teaching us the game of basketball. Through his guidance and leadership, we became a team that was greater than the sum of its individual parts...

This is a "feel good" story, true stories are like that, they make you feel so good you go ahead and cry because it was so good to you as you read the book. It's OK, go ahead and cry, I did as I wrote this book, reliving magical moments all over again..

Finally, "The Last Shot" makes the effort to keep something alive, a memory of a moment in time I shared with some very special people from a small town called Luxora, Arkansas, my hometown, population 1,317.

Don't bother looking for Luxora on the map. Be content to know it is located about 4 miles east of Osceola, Arkansas on Highway 61... or 12 miles west of Blytheville, Arkansas, same highway.

One of the most defining characteristics of a small town in Arkansas is the quality and traditions of its local high school sports teams. In 1980, I had the great fortune to be a member of two of Luxora's greatest sports teams ever: the State Championship track and field team of 1980 and the State Runner-Up basketball team of 1980.

This book, about the Luxora Panthers basketball team of 1980, is a memoir of sorts, pieced together from my memories and from news clippings about our team. It's a way for me to go back, in my mind's eye, like a bird high in the sky, and look once again upon my Luxora, as I remember it to be. I thank you kindly, if you decide to join me on this journey back to Luxora, Arkansas, home of the mighty Luxora Panthers...

Publication Date:
Sep 17 2012
1479329762 / 9781479329762
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

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