Cover image for Training camp : Rain, Twig, Cash, Peño, Lab / written by Wesley King ; created by Kobe Bryant.
Training camp : Rain, Twig, Cash, Peño, Lab / written by Wesley King ; created by Kobe Bryant.
Publication Information:
Costa Mesa, California : Granity Studios, [2019]

Physical Description:
567 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm.
A struggling team of kids from a poor neighborhood is transformed by the appearance of a mysterious coach.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
KIN Book Junior Collection

On Order



#1 New York Times Bestseller

A People Kid Pick of the week

From the mind of basketball legend and Academy Award-winning storyteller Kobe Bryant comes this radically original portrait of five young basketball players, one enlightening coach, and the awesome transformative power of the game. Filled with insights about the mental stamina and emotional clarity that peak performance requires, this is an indispensable story for young athletes, coaches, educators, and anyone interested in the astonishing potential of team sports to unlock individual growth.


Magic doesn't seem possible for the West Bottom Badgers. They're the lowest-ranked basketball team in their league, and they live in the poorest neighborhood in Dren. Nobody expects them to succeed at anything. Plus, every kid on the team has secret struggles of his own.
When a new coach named Professor Wizenard arrives on the first day of training camp, the Badgers can't explain the magical-seeming things they see and hear. Every player experiences unique and strange visions--visions that challenge everything they thought they knew about basketball, and about their lives and their secrets off the court. To survive the increasingly intense ordeals of training, the Badgers will need to take unimaginable risks, learn to trust their teammates, and confront the darkness within themselves.

Author Notes

Kobe Bryant is a former professional basketball player. He played with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2016. His career highlights include five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, eighteen All-Star selections, and four All-Star Game MVP awards, among many other achievements. His first book is entitled The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. His photographer was Andrew D. Bernstein. It was published in October 2018.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Five basketball teammates offer accounts of a 10-day training camp in this inspirational yet uneven fantasy. In a near-contemporary land called Dren, the down-on-their-luck West Bottom Badgers catch a break with the arrival of their new coach, the self-styled Professor Rolabi Wizenard, who uses motivational messages and magic to train the players in "the nature of all things." As team leader Rain, gentle giant Devon, awkward outcast Twig, and brothers Peno and Lab face off against their deepest fears and insecurities and an actual tiger, the players slowly come together as a team and learn that they must fight their greatest battles alone. Working from a concept created by basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, King (A World Below) does an admirable job of capturing the characters' distinct voices and challenges, but the gimmicky nature of the Rashomon-like story line, which repeats the same events five times, leaves little room for deepening the worldbuilding, supporting cast, and the vague hints at a greater problem looming in the background. The story does manage to capture the joy of sports and the satisfaction of working as a team-the Badgers, a mostly brown-skinned group, undergo internal and external conflicts that result in realistic struggles and strong lessons learned. Ages 10-up (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.