By Ernesto Cooke
Jomo Hendrickson an American based writer with Vincentian roots, recently released his first book entitled the “American Way”
The Author Explores the Lives of American Soccer’s Ignored Youth in the new Novel.
Growing up playing soccer at the highest levels of the American youth system (including Division 1 college experience at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and Hartwick College ), author Jomo Hendrickson, is familiar with the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be amongst the best.
In U.S. youth soccer the challenges are similar to those faced globally. The competition is stiff for spots on teams and even tighter for playing time to impress college or professional scouts. These trials are difficult but for some, there is an additional layer that is often much more difficult – affordability. In the USA, there is a high cost associated with being able to play soccer at the highest levels and that single factor may be holding the nation back from achieving its place amongst the world’s superpowers.
It is here where Hendrickson has focused his efforts on his first self-published novel, The American Way. While the story at its core is about achieving the American Dream, it also seeks to spark discussion around diversity within U.S. soccer.
“The game has made some strides when it comes to diversity, but it still has a way to go,” Hendrickson stated.
“I’m excited. I’m most looking forward to the discussions that it’s going to bring out, people’s reactions to the story itself. “I think there’s a lot in there, “I think is going to surprise some people on different fronts. I think it’s going to be a really interesting discussion on a few levels,” said Hendrickson.
Through the eyes of the main character, Japeth Walker, he explores the world that’s not usually connected to United States soccer. Japeth’s American Dream is to become the best soccer player in the world. On his journey, he learns that the American Dream, for him, demands much more than just hard work and dedication. It requires that he risk it all for a distant chance at success.
“The U.S. soccer community as a whole needs to place a higher emphasis on diversifying the game and making a more concerted effort in trying to get a larger talent base,” said Hendrickson.
Hendrickson pulled from some of his own experiences in writing the story. While he came from a middle-class family, he said his parents still had to make sacrifices in order for him to play. For those coming from less well-off families, Hendrickson said the fee attached to playing soccer is a huge impediment.
While Hendrickson was born in the USA both parents are from St Vincent more specifically the village of Layou,Hendrickson is the cousin to national football standout Ezra Hendrickson.
Hendrickson is an Advertising Executive who has worked on top brands such as Samsung, Tide, and Red Bull. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
The “American Way” is now available at JomoHendrickson.com and Amazon.com. The title will also be available in select retail locations.