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Tales from the Kennel 

by Howie Stalwick

Contrary to popular belief, Gonzaga basketball fans cannot devote all their spare time to drinking beer at Jack and Dan's. Dave Boling realized that, so he wrote a book that promises to soothe the soul of even the zaniest of Zag fans during those trying times that separate beers and games.

Tales from the Gonzaga Hardwood ($20, Sports Publishing) is a collection of short takes on GU men's basketball, as told by current and former Bulldog players and coaches. Boling, a former Spokesman-Review sports writer who now writes sports columns for the Tacoma News Tribune, provides a refreshing new look at Gonzaga's rise to national prominence on the basketball court.

Rather than rehashing highlights of memorable games or profiling top players, Boling permits his interview subjects to paint a unique behind-the-scenes look at Bulldog basketball. The stories provide an entertaining mix of humor and grit, of fun and hard work, of frustration and inspiration.

Mark Few (who wrote the foreword), Dan Fitzgerald, Casey Calvary, Ronny Turiaf, Dan Dickau, Quentin Hall, Jeff Condill, Ken Anderson, Adam Morrison, Matt Santangelo, Jeff Brown, Geoff Goss, Scott Spink ... that's just a small sampling of the people Boling interviewed.

Some of the stories you've heard, some of the stories you haven't heard (like Goss "streaking" through campus; or assistant coaches diving into the ice-cold Spokane River after losing a dare with players; or Spink showing up for the Bare Buns Fun Run a day early).

If you're a Gonzaga basketball fan, Tales from the Gonzaga Hardwood is the next-best thing to sitting at courtside.

Publication date: 03/17/05

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