Lots of writers have followed lots of basketball teams through lots of seasons and recorded their journeys. John Feinstein comes to mind.
But how many of those writers have had to move to a community where the basketball team's road trips start with a ride in a "bush plane," because there are no roads between home and the gyms where they'll be playing?
In Eagle Blue: A Team, A Tribe, and a High School Basketball Season in Arctic Alaska, Michael D'Orso chronicles the adventures of a team that is pretty much the only game in town all winter for Fort Yukon. Each season starts with speculation about whether the coach will have the stamina to stick around for one more year. Then there's the matter of determining on a weekly basis which players have managed to stay academically eligible, and hoping that the temperature won't drop to forty below or less. (The bush plane isn't supposed to fly when it's that cold, because some of the fluids in the engine can freeze.)
Michael D'Orso's reward for traveling with the Fort Yukon team were acceptance by a group of people frequently suspicious of strangers, and a remarkable, homemade fur hat, which he is wearing in the jacket photo. Oh, yeah. He also got a good story out of that winter...one in which the eventual fate of the high school team is only one element.
This program aired on April 6, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.