Gravity always wins in the end ...sometimes gradually, sometimes with an avalanche. A life-long climber, seventeen-year-old Jordan spends as much time as he can scaling the sun-baked crags outside his Washington hometown. He's a bit of a pipsqueak - a buck forty with satellite-dish ears - but thanks to his rock-carved physique and climber's confidence, he's found a pretty trouble-free route through high school. It doesn't hurt that his friend A. J., a fellow climber and popular super-jock, keeps the gorilla football players off his back, or that his girlfriend Juana likes the crags as much as he does. All in all, Jordan's got a crimp hold on happiness. But even the tightest grip is useless if a piece of the rock breaks away. For the climber, there are only two absolutes in life: gravity and death. Unfortunately, Jordan can't protect his loved ones from either.
John Foley is a high school teacher in Washington State. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Chicago suburbs and Alaska, covering sports, cops, features and any other beat that didn't require him to attend sanitary sewer meetings. Following a career change to teaching, he worked in Alaskan villages for several years, which led to his memoir Tundra Teacher. Hoops of Steel is based in part on his experiences as a basketball player. Foley was second string on the junior varsity at a Division III school, but prefers to simply say that he "played college ball."