The Power of Friendship

>1970, Gallatin, Tennessee


More Than Rivals:  The year was 1970—a time in American history when racial tension was at a breaking point. In the small southern town of Gallatin, Tennessee, the racial divide was obvious. Desegregation was finally being forced on local high schools, and residents’ emotions were running high. Their fears of riots and other forms of violence were very real. But the small town was on the verge of witnessing God’s miraculous power, and love, bravery, honor, and friendship would unite the community in a bond no one anticipated.

Two boys from opposite sides of the tracks with a passion for a game they loved were brought together in a most unexpected way, and their true friendship showcased an example of grace that ultimately changed a reluctant town forever.

More Than Rivals offers a most rewarding reading experience as you’re whisked back in time to witness the nostalgia of small town America and the struggles of the segregated South. You’ll discover people with hardened hearts much like those you might recognize today. You’ll experience the life-lessons these townspeople learned first-hand as they worked through their bias and emotionally charged differences. Your heart will be touched as you see God’s gift of redeeming grace as Eddie and Bill come together amid racial tension, anger, and strife when their two high schools, one all black, one all white, meet the first and only time, for the championship basketball game of their young lifetimes.

Yet, More Than Rivals is much more than a basketball story. It’s more than the tale of two small-town boys competing for their school in a sport they came to love and excel at. It is a story of courage and determination, of love and true character. More Than Rivals is a working blueprint for how we can all celebrate differences as means of establishing mutual respect and cooperation in our communities. It’s a clarion call for building lasting friendships that honor one another, our uniqueness, and our innate talents and gifts. It is an example based on true events from our history that provides a blueprint for a rewarding future.

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