Home » Level Fields of Play: Bobby Shows Life and Ministry Through Sports by James O. Preston Jr.
Level Fields of Play: Bobby Shows Life and Ministry Through Sports James O. Preston Jr.

Level Fields of Play: Bobby Shows Life and Ministry Through Sports

James O. Preston Jr.

Published May 24th 2013
ISBN : 9780989418102
Paperback
142 pages
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 About the Book 

Everything about Bobby Shows is big. From his smile and personality, to his physical presence and spiritual leadership, Bobby Shows cuts a figure larger than life. Growing up in rural Mississippi, he learned the value of family, of God, of community,MoreEverything about Bobby Shows is big. From his smile and personality, to his physical presence and spiritual leadership, Bobby Shows cuts a figure larger than life. Growing up in rural Mississippi, he learned the value of family, of God, of community, a sense of humor and a good hook shot. Heading into college at Mississippi State University, Bobby Shows hoped to live up to his status as the number one major college recruit in the Magnolia State. However, before he could do that, he had to get right with God. In the end, he and his teammates won more than championships. Events in which they participated sparked change in the segregationist landscape of college sports and college campuses. Bobby Shows early years in rural Mississippi during the 1940s and 1950s are almost storybook quality. Segregation was more than black and white- it was saved and lost. Mississippi buckles the Bible Belt synched down tight. Though humble, Shows enjoyed a happy childhood, raised by two strong parents and surrounded by family, friends, and a faith community. Level fields of play were hard to find in Bobbys day. Whether playing basketball on a hard-scrabble court where you hoped to get the down-hill end for the second half of play, or working in the cotton fields alongside other boys like him, old black men and women and young ones, too. It didnt matter - under the scorching sun, the back-aching, finger-splitting work of picking cotton takes place on level fields. Any illusion of integration and equality did not extend beyond the cotton fields Bobby worked as a boy. Separate but equal may have been the slogan of segregation, but separation of the races remained the singular emphasis in the South. Equality was at best a secondary consideration. Bobbys story starts in the middle of segregation - an oppressive us against them culture about to be turned on its head. His experiences while at Mississippi State both on and off the basketball court integrated a love and concern for people that would lead him into a life of ministry. As an individual, Bobby remains true to self and to God, and his story is about how that combination of self-awareness and devotion to God has led to a productive and meaningful life.