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Author Book Talk: Kent Washington

Author Book Talk: Kent Washington In-Person

Join author Kent Washington as he discusses his book, Kentomania: A Black Basketball Virtuoso in Communist Poland.

Kent Washington made history by becoming the first American to play professional basketball behind the Iron Curtain. In this memoir, he recounts his journey from grade school, when he was known as Peanut, to become the first Black American to play professionally in the Polish top league. His presence in communist Poland as a professional basketball player inspired a movie called The Wizard of Harlem (Czarodziejz Harlemu). 

Kent began to tap into his talent as a basketball player in junior and senior high school in New Rochelle, New York. His obsessive work ethic started to pay dividends as he elevated his game and became an impressive player at Southampton College in Long Island. During a basketball tour of communist Poland with his college in May 1976, Kent took the country by storm and became an overnight sensation.

After finishing his education, he returned to Poland under contract to play professionally. The Polish press dubbed his popularity “Kentomania,” and his fans lined the sidewalks hoping to get into a game to see him play – and to get his autograph. Kent’s athletic and cultural journey is unique as he brings the reader along to life behind the Iron Curtain. Through him, we can all experience a communist country through the eyes of a Black man.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Multipurpose Room
  Adults > Authors & Writing     Adults     Black History Month     New Adults     Older Adults  
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Event Organizer

Amelia Buccarelli

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