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B’ville native publishes book on basketball, life

Teacher motivated by son for writing about game he loves

Baldwinsville resident Gary Pluff stands with his 14-year-old son, Casey, in the garage at his house that Gary converted into a basketball court. Gary just published a new book on basketball, The A-Z Basketball Book: What Every Player Needs to Know to be Great at the Game!.

Baldwinsville resident Gary Pluff stands with his 14-year-old son, Casey, in the garage at his house that Gary converted into a basketball court. Gary just published a new book on basketball, The A-Z Basketball Book: What Every Player Needs to Know to be Great at the Game!.

— Casey, who is now 14 and an eighth-grader playing on the freshman basketball team at Baker High School, said reading the book helped him learn about things he couldn’t necessarily learn by himself on the court. Casey was surprised to find words like working hard and adversity and resilience in a book he thought was just about basketball.

“Most of the stuff, my dad’s taught me before,” he said. “But there’s a couple stuff, like leadership…that I learned more of to become better, from the book.”

C for Character

Christi Pluff always knew her husband wanted to write a book. So when she originally heard about his list of basketball words, she wasn’t surprised when Gary actually did turn it into a book. And when she read it, she simply said, “It’s him.

“It just seemed like an extension of who he was,” she added.

Christi didn’t involve herself too much in Gary’s project, she said, because she knew Gary was the type of person that, when he set his mind to something, would do it on his own. She watched as he built his own website, shot and edited videos and finally self-published the book.

“He loves to learn new things,” she said. “It kind of flowed for him.”

And if he had questions that needed answers, Pluff said he immediately looked to the Internet.

“I got a lot of information from online,” he said, “and taught myself the process of what would need to happen.”

This included building his own website using WordPress, a free blogging tool, uploading videos on YouTube that visualize the words in his book and using social media to promote his website and book. Finally, when it came to actually publishing the book, he used a company through Amazon called Upcentral Publishing.

Pluff had a good outline for his project because he teaches the same skills to seventh graders at Ray Middle School in a class called TechYes. The class, a 10-week national program that teaches students about technology, directly mirrors what he did for his book because of the steps he teaches his students to use to achieve a goal.

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