Sunday, March 13, 2022

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: The Leftovers: Baylor, Betrayal, and Beyond by Matt Sayman with David L. Thomas

Book: The Leftovers: Baylor, Betrayal, and Beyond

Authors: Matt Sayman with David L. Thomas

Genre: Religion/Christian Living/Inspirational

Release date: February 22, 2022

As a young boy, Matt Sayman dreamed of playing pro basketball. His family believed in his vision, even agreeing to move to Texas when one of Matt’s favorite coaches left Pennsylvania for the Lone Star State.

Matt eventually received a full athletic scholarship from Baylor University. He was only six-feet-four but what he lacked in height, he made up for in skill and positive attitude.

Then the summer before his senior year, the bottom fell out of Matt’s world. A player went missing…and was found dead. A teammate was the murder suspect. A coach was accused of paying players under the table. Some players had received drug-free urine samples to pass off as their own. And through it all, Matt was supposed to be the glue who held the Baylor basketball team together.

In The Leftovers: Baylor, Betrayal, and Beyond, Matt shares his personal story of dealing with the fallout after tragedy and trouble nearly sank Baylor’s program. Matt was senior co-captain, but with a short-manned team of leftover players, there was no way to have a winning season, no way some talent scout would take a chance on him.

Matt’s hope and faith were shaken because of the scandals that summer. His post-Baylor years included a DWI, a difficult divorce, and broken relationships. Matt struggled to find peace. On his thirtieth birthday, just a few days after a deep conversation with his pastor, Matt said goodbye to alcohol and surrendered his life to God.

This book tells the story of Matt’s personal redemption—but it is also a story of the redemption of Baylor University’s men’s basketball program. Matt’s team with a young new head coach forged the Baylor team that won the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball championship.


Click here to get your copy!

The Leftovers: Baylor, Betrayal, and Beyond is written by Matt Sayman with David L. Thomas.
It is a Memoir of the life of Basketball for Matt Sayman, primarily focusing on his Senior
Year at Baylor University.

Matt Sayman was a young boy when his desire to eventually play Pro Basketball really became
strong. Matt's family really supported his dream and desire, so much so that they moved the
entire family to Texas to continued to be coached by his favorite coach. His hard work paid
off when he was awarded a Full Athletic Scholarship to Baylor University. His College Years
came crashing down in the Summer just before his Senior Year when Scandal hit Baylor University..
Matt tells how a Murder amongst teammates, NCAA Violations by the Coach, and reported Drug
Use nearly destroyed the Basketball Program at Baylor University. Matt and Team were also very
much affected by the Scandal.

I have to say I wasn't aware of the Scandal at Baylor, but my Husband was able to explain
it to me. I really enjoyed reading this book. Matt Sayman does a GREAT job at telling his
story. Matt's honesty about the Scandal and how it made him realize a few things about his
life is profound. Matt saw how much his Faith had faltered during his College Years. I really
appreciate how Matt tells the story of the Scandal without disrespecting those who were a
part of the Scandal. Matt had many struggles in life after College, including turning to
Alcohol, a Divorce and relationships gone sour. I think may favorite part of this book was
seeing Matt recommitt his life to Christ just before his 30th Birthday. His recommittment
to God has really strengthed Matt's life and many blessings were ahead for him! Matt
Sayman has written his memoir of Redemption for his personal life but also the Basketball
Program at Baylor. I truly enjoyed this book! FANTASTIC BOOK!

Matt Sayman received a full athletic scholarship to play basketball at Baylor University from 2000–2004. After remaining with the program following a shocking scandal in the off-season before his senior year, Matt broke the Baylor career record for games played (118). He then played professional basketball in Iceland, winning the Icelandic championship for Njardvik in 2005.

Matt is currently the varsity basketball coach at Grapevine Faith Christian School in Texas, where he has led his team to the state semifinals the past two seasons. He enjoys inspiring young athletes with a message of “no magic”—just hard work, dedication, and a determination to work harder than the next guy.

Matt also serves as director of events for MGBasketball camps, where he is known for his ability to connect and inspire young athletes to give their best and improve each day.

He hosts JAMODI (Just A Matter Of Doing It) podcast, in which he interviews coaches and leaders to explore the reasons behind their successes.

Matt and his wife Jana live near Fort Worth, Texas, with their two sons.

* * *

David L. Thomas is the author or cowriter of more than a dozen books. He collaborated on two New York Times bestsellers: Wrestling for My Life with Shawn Michaels and Foxcatcher with Mark Schultz. He also cowrote All In with Gene Chizik, a Wall Street Journal national bestseller, and SEAL of God with Chad Williams, with more than 100,000 books in print.

David worked thirty years in sports journalism, beginning at age thirteen as a sportswriter. He spent more than twenty years combined in the national award-winning sports departments of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News, both of which were annually voted among the nation’ top ten sports sections.

A lifelong Texan and graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, David lives near Fort Worth with his wife Sally. They have two children, Ashlin and Tyson.


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I love a good comeback story, and this one has it all. The Leftovers is a great basketball book that shines a light on what true competitors can overcome with a solid work ethic and a drive that doesn’t quit.

Tony Romo
CBS Sports NFL analyst
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback


Matt Sayman’s book is an inspiring personal story of a student-athlete’s struggles during one of the darkest moments in college basketball history, the Baylor basketball scandal, and its effect on him afterward. Ultimately, it is a moving story of personal redemption and an eyewitness account of the beginning of one of the sport’s greatest success stories ever.

Fran Fraschilla
ESPN college basketball analyst


This phenomenal story is heart-wrenching, compelling, and inspiring. I couldn’t put it down. The Leftovers is a must-read for anyone who loves the game—and anyone who appreciates a gripping story.

Mano Watsa
PGC Basketball president & owner

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 1

Inklings and notions, March 2

Artistic Nobody, March 3 (Spotlight)

The Sacred Line, March 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 4

For Him and My Family, March 5

Texas Book-aholic, March 6

Fiction Book Lover, March 7 (Spotlight)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 11

deb’s Book Review, March 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 13

Simple Harvest Reads, March 14 (Spotlight)

To celebrate his tour, Matt is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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