Port Townsend: First ‘Community Read’ focus is life on the line

PORT TOWNSEND — It is the fall of 1992, and sports writer Larry Colton has just arrived in a dusty Montana town on the border of the Crow Reservation.

His goal is to write a book about male basketball players from the reservation and why they fail to realize their potential and advance to college and professional careers.

Instead, Colton sees a lone female player shooting baskets whose face shows such fierce determination that he chooses her as the pivotal character for his book.

Called Counting Coup, Colton’s account of the girl’s personal battles as her high school team drives to the state finals has been chosen for the Port Townsend Library’s inaugural “Community Reads” program.

“We started out wanting to do a program that focused on basketball in March because of March Madness,” Theresa Percy, library director, says.

“But ever since I came here, I’ve wanted to do a ‘Community Reads’ program.

“So we picked a popular book that is about more than basketball.”

Colton’s story starts when Sharon LaForge, a gifted athlete from the reservation who is entering her senior year with her sights set on taking her team to the state championship.

Descended from a French-American, LaForge is the widow of a Crow scout who rode with Custer.

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