Rez Ball

Rez Ball cover

Rez Ball

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This compelling debut novel by new talent Byron Graves tells the relatable, high-stakes story of a young athlete determined to play like the hero his Ojibwe community needs him to be.

These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team—even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident.

When Jaxon's former teammates on the varsity team offer to take Tre under their wing, he sees this as his shot to represent his Ojibwe rez all the way to their first state championship. This is the first step toward his dream of playing in the NBA, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him.

But stepping into his brother’s shoes as a star player means that Tre can’t mess up. Not on the court, not at school, and not with his new friend, gamer Khiana, who he is definitely not falling in love with.

After decades of rez teams almost making it, Tre needs to take his team to state. Because if he can live up to Jaxon's dreams, their story isn’t over yet. 

This book is published by Heartdrum, an imprint that publishes high-quality, contemporary stories about Indigenous young people in the United States and Canada.

Byron Graves is Ojibwe and was born and raised on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, where he played high school basketball. When he isn’t writing, he can be found playing retro video games, spending time with his family, or cheering on his beloved Minnesota Timberwolves. Rez Ball is his debut novel.