"It is the kind of narrative that gives memoir a good name. A story of such honesty and humor and directness that the reader is made to feel as if he has not merely read about experience but lived through its pulse beat. It is a story that only a few individuals in America could tell this well and with the authority of such details: a coming-of-age story about facing loss and finding love; about the ugliness of racial discrimination and the necessary courage to stand against it; about basketball and dreams; about what divides us and makes us whole. It is a chronicle not only of Phil Raisor's coming of age but America's as well." Michael Pearson

"This book's humanity and poignancy make it hard to put down." The Muncie Star

"In Outside Shooter Raisor.....avoids the traps of egocentricity by making others in the story come to life and share the stage as far more than cardboard walk-ons. . . a book that matters sentence by beautifully-crafted sentence." The Sewanee Review

"Clear, well-written . . . unlike many players and fans he tried to reach across the racial divide to his black teammates to understand the pain and anguish they faced." Gregory H. Williams, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy who Discovered He was Black

"Raisor hasn't written a sports book. It's more than that, an arching overview of a young man growing into his skin, but with a unique backdrop of sports . . . Raisor's journey to manhood is compelling." New Orleans Times-Picayune

Photo by Knox Garvin
Philip Raisor was on the losing side in two of the most storied basketball games ever played. He started at guard for the Muncie Central Bearcats, who fell in the 1954 Indiana state final to tiny Milan, the David-over-Goliath event that inspired the movie Hoosiers. On a basketball scholarship to the University of Kansas, he watched his Wilt Chamberlain-led Jayhawks lose the 1957 NCAA championship in triple overtime to North Carolina. In Outside Shooter, Raisor recounts the hard knocks and hard-won triumphs of a basketball odyssey across 1950s America, from Indiana to Kansas to Louisiana, and from adolescence to adulthood.

Read online: Philip Raisor, "Remembering the Losses: from Hoosiers to Outside Shooter"

"A Conversation with Outside Shooter Phil Raisor", by Adam Shandler

Listen online:"Champion in Sports and Civil Rights," NPR,

"Playing Basketball, Cycling West", NPR, a "With Good Reason"
interview by Sarah McConnell


from the Introduction to Tuned and Under Tension: The Recent Poetry of W. D. Snodgrass:

“I once asked W. D. Snodgrass how valuable he thought the eccentric was. I had been thinking about his collection of essays in In Radical Pursuit and several eccentric characters in his work: the boy made of meat, the non-specialist professor in “April Inventory, Cock Robin and others. He said, ‘Depends on how you define the eccentric.’ I said, ‘As deviant from the customary.’ He smiled and said,

Oh, in that case, it’s liable to be very good indeed because the customary always involves limitations of vision, and unless you’re saying something that people aren’t generally saying there is almost no sense in saying it. Any society survives by limiting everybody’s vision; it may also ruin itself by doing that. In any case, if you say something different, people aren’t gonna like that and they’re gonna see it as eccentric, where, in fact, it may be absolutely central.”