Seldom does a season pass without a new high school basketball book being put up for sale about the time of the Sweet Sixteen. This year’s no different.
“How Sweet It Is” is the debut effort from Jarrett Van Meter, a Lexington native who attended Sayre before finishing his schooling in California. The 428-page book, published by The Sports History Foundation, chronicles the efforts of Clay County, Covington Catholic and Taylor County during the 2015-16 high school basketball season.
Van Meter grew up reading “season-with-the-team books” and strived to do something akin to that, but incorporated multiple teams and communities instead of focusing on a single entity.
“Any one of those three teams could have been a book in themselves, but I think what makes this interesting is contrasting how different the styles of programs are and the goal is to all meet here and clash in this epic, five-day bloodbath of sorts,” Van Meter said.
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Something else that sets Van Meter’s book apart from others is its author’s age; at 26 years old, he’s closer in age to the players lacing up their sneakers this week than he is most of the head coaches.
“I decided to swing for the fences,” Van Meter said. “I’m at a time in my life where I can do this. I don’t have a wife or kids and I have the time to be able to drive to some God-foresaken part of the state in the middle of the night and not get back until 3 a.m.”
He’s been bitten by the book bug; after pushing “How Sweet It Is” for the next couple of months, Van Meter will begin work on a project involving junior-college basketball.
“I really took a liking to the whole book process,” he said. “It can be exhausting but there’s a lot of freedom involved in it, so I really like that.”
Fans attending the Sweet Sixteen can buy “How Sweet It Is” at a booth in the merchandise area near the High Street entrance of Rupp Arena. It is also available on KYforKY.com and will be available in local bookstores and Amazon.com at a later date.