Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Basketball Reads

I love reading books about basketball, no suprise many of us do! Here I am going to list some of my favorite basketball books with a little blurb about each. There aren't going to be any books about X's and O's in here, these are books about the game of basketball and/or the people that coach it.

The Last Shot by Darcy Frey. Frey spends a year or so following a group of boys that play at famed Lincoln High School in Coney Island, New York. He writes about their high school games, playground games, summer camps, as well as their feelings, thoughts, and lives away from the game. He shows what it's really like to be a hoop star in the inner city. His cronicle of these young men is second to none and absolutely amazing. This book is one of the big reasons I became interested in basketball and coaching. I would encourage everyone who loves basketball to read this book, then read "Betrayed by the Game" an article that Frey wrote years after the book came out, you can read the article by clicking here. This is also an article I would share with your players, especially those who put all their eggs in the NBA basket. This is a book that I first read in third grade, and have read every single year since then. \

Miracle of St. Anthony by Adrian Wojnarowski. Another book I read on a perrennial basis. Absolutely spellbinding. Coach Hurley is one coach I have never met, but despirately would love to. He's extremely good at what he does in terms of on and off the floor stuff with his guys. I really respect him. I'm sure you have all heard of it, but if you haven't read it you absolutely MUST! There are a lot of things in here you can use in your own coaching as well, plust it's very, very well written.

Fall River Dreams by Bill Reynolds. Another book similar to the two above. Fall River, Mass is an old industrial town with a deep and rich basketball tradition. Lots of great teams and players go through there, but many never leave town. This is a story about one year with the basketball program. Very well written and very fun to read. It goes beyond just basketball however and explores the culture of the program, town, and tradition as well.

Where the Game Matters Most by William Gildea. Great book that follows a multitude of teams through one of the last seasons of 1 class basketball in Indiana. Very fun story with some names that you recgonize like Luke Recker. Really does a nice job of making you part of the crazy basketball passion that the state of Indiana has.

The Road to Indianapolis by Plaiss. Similar to what I described above. A couple of writers follow multiple teams around for a season writing about their triumphs and failures. Players like Big Dog Glenn Robinson are written about in here.

Glory Road by Dan Wetzel. Like the movie? Well, the book is much more funny and MUCH more realistic. It cronicles the entire life of the late, great Don Haskins. I really wish I could have sat down and talked with Coach Haskins, seemed like a great person. The book is much more indepth than the movie and takes you basically from childhood all the way through that magical season.

Last Dance, A March to Madness, A Season on the Brink, Forever's Team, A Season Inside, and The Last Amateurs all by John Feinstein. These books by Feinstein are all great reads. He is a good writer and does a nice job of making you part of the action. Each book is a little different, but they all focus on the collegiate game. If you are a college basketball fan, add these to your library.

Runnin Rebel by Coach Jerry Tarkanian. Really interesting book about the life of Coach Tarkanian, or "Tark the Shark". His sense of humor and personality really comes through here. He talks openly about some situations, but I think he sugar coats some others! He really does go deep into all the ups and downs of his career however.

My Life on a Napkin by Coach Rick Majerus. This is the story of Coach Majerus through his days with the Runnin Utes of Utah. Some very good parts, worth reading.

A Coach's Life by Coach Dean Smith. Few have done it better, or as long, as Coach Smith. This autobiography also contains a lot of hints and coaching insite into what made him successful. There are some real coaching gems in this one.

Hoop Dreams by Ben Joravsky. Did you like the movie? I think the book is better. Goes into more detail in terms of things that happened in both their lives. The movie is a definate favorite of mine, as this book is as well. If you haven't seen the move or read the book - what is wrong with you!? :)

A Season on the Reservation by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Book about one of basketball's all-time greats taking a year to coach a team on a reservation in Arizona. THis is a story of Abdul-Jabbar falling in love with basketball all over again, as well as the players he is coaching.

Well there is my list of current favorites. I encourage you all to pick them up and read them when you have time, even if that's only 20 minuts on the bus to and from the game! See one I missed or think I should add? Well just respond and put it down!

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