Book signing and meet-and-greet with Lawrence writer Bill Sampson, author of "Wheat Fields"

Do you love KU basketball? Being a Jayhawk? Kansas culture and experiences? Yeah, you do! Chances are you’ll also enjoy Wheat Fields by Bill Sampson, the story of a boy moving from Salina to Lawrence after being recruited for the KU basketball team! Once he gets to campus, he realizes there’s a lot more to life than basketball, as he makes new friends, falls in love, and navigates campus politics. Dribble on down to the Raven on May 30 between 6 and 7 p.m. for a book signing table with Bill Sampson, where you can chat with him while getting your copy of Wheat Fields signed.


About the Book

Kansas University recruits dozens of basketball players each year. But none had to move to Lawrence from the wheat fields of Central Kansas for his senior year of high school. And, once a Jayhawk freshman, none was ever swept off his feet by a young woman wearing a bright yellow head scarf.

Wheat Fields follows Richie Armstrong as he moves from Salina and adjusts to Free State High School. Soon after arriving, he meets and impresses Sean Grogan, the Lawrence Journal World's sports editor. Richie's play and Grogan's columns attract the attention of Gene Bennett, the Jayhawk head coach, whose in-home visit with Richie and his mother displays the dynamics of blue-blood recruiting-the planning and the impact of the pitch as well as the anxiety that shadows even a hall-of-fame coach.

Grogan chronicles Richie's freshman year at Kansas. But there is more going on at KU than basketball. The academic community is rocked by accusations of racism leveled against Jacob Matthews, a rock-star philosophy professor. Over the holidays, Richie meets Farieh Bukhari, a brilliant freshman student from Tehran whose smile and head scarf will command the moments he does not give to basketball. And it is Farieh's riveting testimony that highlights Jacob Mathews' defense in his academic trial.

An informed, often-humorous introduction to major-college basketball, Wheat Fields introduces college life, as well: the campus, the traditions, the students, and the many facets of the faculty-their generosity, their jealousies, and their sustaining regard for their students.


About the Author

Bill Sampson received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas before serving four years active duty as a Navy Judge Advocate.

Returning to the Midwest, he enjoyed a successful career in the courtroom, achieving partnership at two prestigious law firms. He shared his skills in the classroom as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law and a Seminar Instructor in the KU Honors Program.

Bill retired from the legal profession in December of 2021. He lives in Lawrence with his wife, Dru. Their three children and seven grandchildren live in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Moscow, Idaho. Wheat Fields is his first novel.


Event date: 
Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
Raven Book Store
809 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Wheat Fields By Bill Sampson Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781953583437
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Flint Hills Publishing - January 19th, 2023

Kansas University recruits dozens of basketball players each year. But none had to move to Lawrence from the wheat fields of Central Kansas for his senior year of high school. And, once a Jayhawk freshman, none was ever swept off his feet by a young woman wearing a bright yellow head scarf.


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