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Book details
  • SubGenre:Sports
  • Language:English
  • Pages:300
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781667836836

Blonde Bomber

A Ride With Shide

by Jay Shidler and Paul Corio

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Like many who grow up in small rural towns like Lawrenceville, Illinois, playing sports is a pastime that a young man can hardly live without. Jay Shidler became a multi sport star at little Lawrenceville High School, but it was his exploits on the basketball court playing for legendary coach Ron Felling that put his name in lights. "The Blonde Bomber" became a record setting scorer, a state champion and household name in a storied era of high school basketball in Illinois. He would go on to become a part of college basketball royalty when he signed with the University of Kentucky Wildcats. As with his high school career, the fame, glory, adoration and the championships all came his way at Kentucky. But the real story of big time basketball and athletic fame is not always quite what it seems. "Blonde Bomber" takes an exclusive and provocative inside look at what it's like to be a basketball icon. It takes you right onto the court to experience all the details of pressure packed games and championship basketball. It also gives a powerful account of the highest highs, the lowest lows and all the pressures, pitfalls, and struggles that must be endured to stay in the game and be a champion -- both as an athlete and a man.


Jay Shidler was the first real "rock star" of Kentucky basketball. With the flashy blonde hair to go along with his great athleticism and record breaking scoring feats, Jay's signing with Kentucky was an unprecedented media event for its time. "Blonde Bomber" tells the story of what it was like to come from a small town and walk into the national spotlight of starting for the winningest team in college basketball.

As a book about championship level basketball and the world of elite athletes, "Blonde Bomber" delivers in a way that is unparalleled among sports biographies.  Jay Shidler  takes the reader right down onto the floor with him to experience all the intense action of the many big games he participated in both at the high school, college and pro level. You will experience what it was like to compete for a state championship or play in front of 23,000 screaming fans on national television. You will get a first hand account of what it was like to be in the locker room getting final instructions before taking the floor to play for a national championship on the biggest stage in sports. 

For fans of the "glory days" of Illinois high school basketball when Jay played and for fans of Kentucky basketball, the book delivers detailed, in depth accounts of all the great games and great players that Jay teamed with and played against. The book also gives a thorough look at the great coaches Jay played for -- Ron Felling and Joe B. Hall -- as well as some of the legendary coaches he competed against.  You will be right there in the huddle or in the locker room as Jay describes some of the moves and decisions his coaches made in the big games  when it was all on the line.

No matter who your favorite team is, when it comes to the descriptions of game action, preparation and training and all other aspects of competing on a championship level sports team, this book is a great read for any sports fan. 

"Blonde Bomber" also delivers when it comes to examining what the life of a big time athlete was really like off the court and away from the crowds. It examines the real, hard hitting life experiences that Jay encountered both during his playing days and after the "final horn" had sounded on his athletic career.

About the author

Jay Shidler was a star among stars as a multisport athlete at Lawrenceville, High School during a storied era of high school basketball in Illinois. He gained statewide and national recognition for his record breaking exploits on the basketball court playing for legendary coach Ron Felling. Highly recruited by the biggest names in the sport, Jay went on to become a member of basketball royalty when he signed to play basketball for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the winningest team in the history of college basketball. Jay became a starter as a freshman on a Wildcat team that was ranked among the best in the country. He earned an NCAA Championship ring as a sophomore. After playing professionally overseas, Jay returned to Lexington, Kentucky where he lived and worked until recently returning to his hometown area in Illinois.

Like Jay, co-author Paul Corio grew up loving the game of basketball. After moving from New Jersey to Lexington, Kentucky, he played high school ball with and against some of Jay's future UK teammates. He spent many years coaching youth and AAU basketball. Paul's other writing interests include philosophy and spirituality.

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