Wilt and the LeBron Drive-by

Wilt blocks Kareem
Always my favorite Wilt photo, blocking Kareem’s sky hook.

I am not a LeBron James basher. He is one of the greatest athletes and basketball players of all time. He has made a bad decision or two, but who hasn’t. And, he is a giver – to the tune of well over $40 million. Probably twice that.

As dawn came in the east, sports fans learned that James last night surpassed Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (31,419). Wilt had been surpassed by four others: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and (No. 1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron will likely surpass them all.

I watched the first half, in which he was 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. And I have seen the highlights – he did it in amazing fashion – needed 39, scored a season-high 44. More importantly the Lakers have won 4-straight.

Comparing Wilt and LeBron is, of course, apples to oranges. I just want to point out a fact or two.

In Wilt’s day, you weren’t allowed to play in the NBA until the college class you entered with had graduated. Wilt, frustrated by being ganged up on by entire teams, played what would have been his senior year at Kansas with the Harlem Globetrotters.

In those first four years of LeBron’s career, in the NBA, straight out of high school, he scored 8,439 points. Surprisingly, in LeBron’s fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth years, at age (approximately) 22-26, he scored 8,923 points. Only 484 more points in what should have been the prime of his life.

Wilt in those years (age 22-26), keeping in mind that one was his rookie season, scored 13,355 points, including, in his third season, his 50 points-per-game.

Is it fair to say that Wilt would have scored 10,000 points from 18 to 22 years of age had he been in the NBA? I think it’s a safe bet.

Hard to believe, but LeBron is already in his 16th NBA season. He is quite durable and has never suffered a major injury. Wilt played only 14 seasons, in my estimation walking away much like Jim Brown did, with a few good years still ahead of him. In one of those seasons (69-70), Wilt played in only 12 games due to a knee injury.

Here’s a few fun facts about Wilt’s career. In 61-62, when he averaged 50.4 points per game, he had 45 games in which he scored over 50 points, including his 100. Never wanting to come out of a game, he actually averaged 48.5 minutes per game (an NBA game is 48 minutes). Wilt averaged in that season over a point a minute (1.037) per game. Never matched. The year after Wilt changed his game to help Philly get past Boston and win the NBA title over San Francisco, he led the league in assists per game, at 8.6, the only time a center has led (he averaged 7.8 assists, 24 points, and 24 rebounds the title year – 67). In his last two years with the Lakers, including his second title in ’72, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich handled much of the scoring. Wilt still scored 19.2 points and 18.6 rebounds per game, starting a wicked fast break, again unheard of numbers today. Wilt’s field goal percentage his final season? .727.

Yes, players over 7-foot were rare in the 60’s. But Wilt was an athlete. Before he gave up track and field, he high jumped 6-foot-6, ran a 49 flat 440, 1:58.3 880, long jumped 22-feet and put the shot 53-4. He played volleyball during and after his pro ball career. Could Wilt have played the “stretch-4” position like today’s big men? I believe he could have if it were asked of him. Despite his free throw woes, he had a soft touch on his turnaround and fade away jumpers. He could have developed a 3-point shot had he wanted to – and had there been one. Of LeBron’s 11,419 field goals, 1,645 have been 3-pointers. Wilt made 12,681 – the hard way.

Lastly, as once the first and now the sixth-leading scorer of all time, Wilt’s 14 seasons were the fewest of the other five. Kobe was the only other straight out of high school and played 20 seasons. Kareem, after four years at UCLA, played 21 seasons. Karl played 19 after three at Louisiana Tech, Jordan 15 after three at North Carolina.

So, yes, I’m a Wilt fan (See Postscript below). I don’t begrudge LaBron or those who will surpass his milestones. I’m just trying to keep it all in perspective.

Wilt n LaBron

Wilt beach trio.JPGP.S. On being a Wilt fan: One beach trip when there was an excessive amount of seaweed washed up on shore, my kids and I didn’t build a sandcastle, we built Wilt. LOL. Thanks for reading.

© 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beaches, Books, and a Block Party

Drew n Ernest

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

A great book stays with you. It grips you as you read. Compels you to push on. It re-enters your consciousness and your thoughts over and over as you go about your life. You long to go back to it. You know the characters. You like, love, or loath them.

This is what I am striving for as a writer. My second novel, The Lost Lantern (suspense – available on Amazon.com), a book ultimately about racial harmony, takes place in Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach in the late 1980s. The Long Shadow of Hope, my first book, is a tale about what can go wrong when greed, lust, and deception are put on the front burners. The setting? A college football program – Lookout Mountain State University in Tennessee!

I will be visiting MISC: Everything Murrells Inlet, this Saturday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., selling and signing some books, maybe singing some songs, and enjoying the Historic Downtown Murrells Inlet Block Party!

All Things picture 2Bernie Delgado’s shop, 4493 Highway 17, Murrells Inlet , is filled with the creations and home furnishings of over seventy local artists. Don’t forget, Christmas is just around the corner! Hope to see you there!

https://www.facebook.com/EverythingMurrellsInlet

One Reader at a Time

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Maybe building readership is like laying the foundation of a house, one cinderblock at a time. Can’t do two, it cannot be done.

Last night I gave a copy of The Lost Lantern to one of my best friends. It will be heading to Oak Island, North Carolina. Our waitress inquired.

“It’s a book about racial harmony and overcoming some serious racism.”

She ordered a copy by phone before we left. Tip got bigger.

The night before, the new fiancé of an old teammate of mine told me she was ordering both The Lost Lantern and The Long Shadow of Hope for him. They are moving to Savannah, Ga., in the fall.

“Oh, my next book takes place on Hilton Head Island with Savannah as the secondary city.”

Coincidence or karma?

The night before that, a new Garden City, South Carolina, resident posted pictures of the moon over the Atlantic from her balcony. Another good friend said you should pick up a copy of The Lost Lantern from Bernie Delgado’s Miscellaneous: All Things Murrells Inlet. The book takes place right there at the beach.

A copy is in the hands of a National Guardsman heading northeast to Camp Dawson, on the Cheat River, in Kingwood, West Virginia. It’s also being read by a sought-after medical malpractice attorney who travels extensively. Will either bear additional fruit?

A few weeks ago I told the technician at my Optometrists’ – who I knew to be a reader – about my books. She became the 20th reviewer of The Lost Lantern! Yes, Stephen King is pushing 9,500 for Doctor Sleep: A Novel. But I’ll bet I appreciate – and am humbled by – my 20 more, as I do each and every sale. Vacation-season has increased sales, and if you’re heading to the beach or a national park next month or in August there’s plenty of time to order and receive delivery from Amazon.com as we approach the year anniversary of The Lost Lantern’s release! Thanks to Bruce Moss, Lynn McGraw, Bertha Watson, and Renee Simms for reviews 17 through 20!

1. Renee Simms reviewed The Lost Lantern

Great Read! Couldn’t put it down! June 15, 2018

I definitely recommend this book! The author has a flair for telling a story, and weaving several plot lines through each other without them getting lost and confused, then tying it all back in. His rich use of vocabulary keeps the reader engaged and helps to draw mental images. We will see this author an best-selling lists soon!

View on Amazon.com Add a comment View this book’s reviews on Amazon.com

2. BERTHA WATSON reviewed The Lost Lantern

Five Stars May 25, 2018

couldn’t wait to see what happened next, thanks Andy.

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3. Lynn McGraw reviewed The Lost Lantern

Five Stars February 28, 2018

Very good book-page turner. Very Interesting storyline, characters, and setting. Highly recommend.

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4. cheri t. reviewed The Lost Lantern

1 of 1 people found the following helpful

and now as a author of great depth and creativity February 25, 2018

Bruce E. Moss says: February 9, 2018 at 4:04 pm Edit It has been my privilege to watch Andy Spradling grow and mature from grade school to today. I have watched him as an student, an athletic, a sports reporter, a restaurateur, a parent, and now as a author of great depth and creativity. I appreciate his research that gives his story such depth and credence. He truly knows has to cast the spell, draw you in, and keep you on your mental toes as you follow the events of his story line. He is truly a gifted writer. I look forward to many more of his most entertaining works and to him be recognized for his remarkable talent.

 

A New Day Rising

April Sunrise

A new day rising

Brings us hope

The week gone by

had firsts and lasts

Lifelong memories

sad goodbyes

Godly welcomes

gatherings

Help to heal

races, tests

body blows

chapters, charity

coffee cake

humble pie

growing grass

spinning spokes

familiar faces

introductions

soulful songs

learned and

forgotten

But a new day rising

Brings us hope.

 

©2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lantern Rides a Wave into Murrells Inlet

All Things picture 2

Spring breakers and friends in and around the Grand Stand, if you’re looking for a good read to take to the beach this month or this summer, Misc: Everything Murrells Inlet is now carrying my novels The Long Shadow of Hope and The Lost Lantern. Just nine months released, The Lost Lantern is a tale that takes place at Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet.

Thanks to Berny Delgado, proprietor of Misc: Everything Murrells Inlet, for the opportunity. Her store is located at 4493 Highway 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. If you need reassurance, check out nearly 50 reviews on the books at: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/community

All Things picture 1

 

Check out the Facebook page for Berny’s cool store at: https://www.facebook.com/EverythingMurrellsInlet/

Thanks Doak Turner, the Nashville connector, for your help in making this happen! And thank you for supporting both the Arts and the Independents!

Have a great Spring Break, and remember what Easter is truly about.

Thanks for reading, A.S.

Saucy Characters, Indeed

These two men have seen as many football games as Belichick and Brady. One is a retired college football coach, the other, a sportswriter-turned-P.R.-exec. The coach now writes. The scribe now refs. Both are Italian. One is the father of four girls, the other, the father of four boys. Both had a profound impact on my life. And both just reviewed The Long Shadow of Hope, my first novel, the setting for which is a college football program at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Shadow Copy thumbnailWhat else does Coach Tony DeMeo and Tom Aluise have in common besides a love of laughter, a taste for great pasta, and a boatload of athletic stories? Insight. Here’s what the coach, who once worked cubicle-to-cubicle with “Jimmy V” Valvano at Iona, and the sportswriter, who knew NFL Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss before he scored his first high school touchdown, had to say about The Long Shadow of Hope.

Tony DeMeo: The Long Shadow of Hope is a great mystery for any football fan. I really enjoyed the way Spradling developed the characters in the book. By the end, I felt like I knew them. The plot was intriguing & suspenseful. I think this book would make a great TV movie mystery.

Tom Aluise: Andy has created a work of fiction that is stocked full of interesting characters, jaw-dropping plot twists and page-turning drama. Not usually a big fan of fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading Andy’s second book!

Powerful words from icons in their respective fields: DeMeo, who, after head coaching stints at his alma mater Iona, Mercyhurst, and Washburn, returned The University of Charleston (WV, formerly Morris Harvey) to football glory before his retirement; and Aluise, a Marshall University grad and beloved 30-plus-year Charleston Daily Mail veteran. And, reviews 27 and 28 for “Hope” on Amazon.com. I am quite thankful to both of these fine gentlemen for their time and efforts.

CommonsenseIncidentally, I’m currently reading Coach Tony D’s Commonsense Rules for Everyday Leaders (also available on Amazon.com), a book filled with inspirational stories and simple, everyday rules and insights for achieving goals and succeeding at being a leader in any field, told by T.D. in a way only he can tell it. I highly recommend it!

©2018

The Push Towards 20

Baldacci

Still both happy and humbled to be selling some books and receiving reviews, especially when a comparison like the one below comes in from a reader! Sometimes it seems hopeless that an “Independent” can build an audience, but these kind words motivate me to keep writing and get my next title out there. Thank you Mary and Dale, reviews 15 and 16 for The Lost Lantern.

Thanks for reading, A.S.

Andrew Spradling’s The Lost Lantern was A GREAT READ!

By Mary M. Robertson on January 30, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

 

Andrew Spradling’s The Lost Lantern was A GREAT READ! This book read very similar to the style of David Baldacci’s books— intriguing, a page turner, and kept you interested in what was to come next! Looking forward to reading more from Andrew Spradling!

5-stars

“I don’t usually like prologues but

ByDale Withrowon January 5, 2018

Format: Paperback

This was my first read of Andrew Spradling and I am looking forward to reading his first book “The Long Shadow of Hope.” I don’t usually like prologues but, in the Lost Lantern, the prologue hooked me and fueled my curiosity to the point that I could not turn the pages fast enough to bring the story back to that point and time. I thoroughly enjoyed the story line of the book. Ironically, I read most of the book while in the Murrell’s Inlet area and that added to the already vivid picture that Andrew constructs with his detail and background of the band of characters. I did feel that it was overly detailed in some areas but, as you follow the main characters through the story, you begin to feel that you have known them through most of their lives. You will learn to like this diverse group as they return to Murrell’s Inlet attempting to recapture some of their past lives and find directions for their future. You will feel respect and admiration for the camaraderie and support they demonstrate for the friends they made in the summers spent there. At the same time, you will come to hate and despise the locals involved because of their prejudices, deceit, and greed as they try to take advantage of a young man who has worked loyally and diligently for them in their restaurants as well as for his own family. This is a long read but, it is well worth the time.

4-stars

 

© 2018

 

 

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

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Just over 30 hours remain to enter to win a free copy of my new novel, The Lost Lantern. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific time Sunday, tomorrow, December 3. It’s easy to do.

Just click on this link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/9de9b7bc52e07df5

 Lantern ThumbIf you win it will be delivered to your door.  If you’re not a reader, give it to one on your Christmas list. Your odds of winning are quite high. If you’re doubting its worth, read reviews on my Amazon author page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/community

Good Luck, thanks, and Merry Christmas! A.S.

Pictured above, Coal River at Twilight from the Hayes Bridge.

 

 

 

 

© 2017

The Lost Lantern Sweepstakes

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Do you have a favorite book? A top five or ten list?

Have you read a book where you imagined the author opened a vein and bled for you? A book where there was so much hurt you felt it, followed by joy and elation, then more disappointment, followed by intrigue, and perhaps happiness? A book where the characters you’ve visualized stay in your mind and return to you later? You lived the tension they experienced, and felt empathy, anger, or disgust?

Transferring feelings to readers from the written page is the goal of any author, and certainly is for me. My most recent Lantern Thumbrelease came from deep within, I assure you. It is a tale with much raw emotion.

For the next week you can enter to win a paperback copy of my new book, The Lost Lantern. Please follow this link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/9de9b7bc52e07df5

If you win, it will be shipped to your door. If you don’t win, please consider reading both my books, which are also available electronically on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.

Good luck and as always, thank you for reading. A.S.

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P.S.  I would enjoy reading what book means the most to YOU. My favorite is For Whom The Bell Tolls.

© 2017

For The Love Of Books

Since my last post, shamelessly, with tongue-in-cheek connecting my new novel, The Lost Lantern, with Jeannette Walls’ memoir, The Glass Castle (oops, I did it again), I played around with some numbers. If Jeannette’s sales were created in the 261 weeks it was on the NY Times Bestseller List, the per week amount of books sold is 10,344. If it were over the 12 years since the book’s release the number is 4,326 sold a week. Dan Brown sold 27 million copies of the Da Vinci Code. Over 14 years that’s 37,087 a week. Can you imagine the elation either must have been feeling?

Lantern Thumb I’ve been at this independent publishing for less than 16 months.  I get excited each and every time I sell a book. In one of the above scenarios I probably would stroke out from happiness.  But it’s an uphill battle. Even Amazon, which makes most of the money, chooses not to promote independents. The cost-free electronic version? We indies still get bumped by the Pattersons, Sparks, and Grishams. There’s a big ol’ bank of money each month from subscribers at Kindle Unlimited, but writers like me will never see any of it. I believe both my novels are entertaining departures, yet how does one get them in front of the masses?

Still, I’m feeling blessed and extremely grateful. Today marks one month since we released “The Lost Lantern,” and I can’t help but feel optimistic. Without the benefit of a big-budget publisher, pre-publicity, or industry reviews, we have sold 90 copies in 30 days, with five reviews, on Amazon.com. I received great news from Terri Dingess Baloga, a fellow St. Albans (WV) High grad now residing in North Carolina, who chose “The Lost Lantern” for her book club to read next month! This is exactly what an independent writer like me needs – word of mouth among READERS in other states… in other countries. I need to offer thanks to Tom Hindman, Ray Epperly, Ross Harrison, (now deployed) Jeremy Ranson, and Becky Goodwin for their honest reviews, with expectations for more soon from Bob Carpenter, Lance Carney, and Carla Williamson. If reviews add the validity buyers need, I’ll scratch and claw for all I can get. Thanks for reading!