October 04, 2012

Homeschool Grad Is 'The Finest Young Sportswriter in America'

A few weeks ago when Sports Illustrated arrived in the mail, Mary Margaret devoured it before I did (as usual) and told me there was one story I definitely needed to read. She was right. "The Boy They Couldn't Kill," written by Thomas Lake, was superb -- pregnant with theological and sociological implications that Mary Margaret and I spent 20 minutes or more discussing.

Well, it turns out that "the finest young sportswriter -- perhaps the finest young writer period -- in America is a Christian," Owen Strachan informs us.
It's true: Thomas Lake, all of 31 years of age and currently a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, ... has drawn major attention for his long-form journalism, which expertly mixes soaring set pieces and ground-level investigation. In most cases a journalist excels at either the craft of storytelling or the labor of research. Lake succeeds in both areas, and a third of far greater importance: writing with genuine moral vision borne of faith in a risen Christ.
To what does Mr. Lake attribute his development as a writer and a storyteller?
It must have started with all the reading I did as a kid. My mom, Elizabeth, always fostered the love of reading in her kids, so we would go to the library and come back with 50 or 60 books at a time. She basically let us read whatever we were interested in. Now with home-schooling programs getting more closely monitored and reporting getting tougher, I don't know if we could get away with that. The only thing she had to do in the 1980s was fill out attendance reports. So as long as we were in attendance for 180 days of the year, it worked. We could follow our curiosity. So for me, as an 8-year-old boy, that meant World War II, sports, or even reading the encyclopedia with my brother. That sounds strange (laughs), but that was a good fit for us.

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