I guess I will follow Blitz’s lead again.
Yesterday, he brought you five football themed books to read. So today, I am coming at you with the basketball end. While I never get tired of 2K or that great selection of basketball movies I gave you last week, here are some options to get you away from the screen time.
Unless you prefer book my kindle of course.
Here are my five favorite basketball themed books to help you through your quarantine.
Life is Not an Accident: A memoir of reinvention – by Jay Williams
Whether you know Jay Williams as an ESPN College Basketball Analyst or from his time as one of the best players in the country while playing at Duke, Williams is one of the most recognized basketball minds in the last 20 years. This autobiography is one of uplifting spirit and tells the tale of Williams’ life, most importantly through his darkest hours. Just a season after joining the NBA, his dream was ruined by a motorcycle accident. Williams chronicles the pain, the comeback and and the courage it took him to battle through life’s obstacles. This is a must read for anyone who likes athletics, let alone basketball.
Danger Zone – by David Klauss
This one takes me way back and is a good Young Adult book about a Minnesota High School sharpshooter out of place playing with Team USA in a world that doesn’t like he or his teammates for a variety fo reasons, including race. I first read this book as a tadpole and was instantly hooked by it. It is a great read for Bounce’s fans between 13-16 but don’t think that limits you if you are an adult. It is a fantastic tale with really strong characters that you get hooked into instantly.
The Disease Didn’t Kill the Dream – by Vernard Hollins
If you want to know the origin story of one of Fort Wayne’s biggest basketball influences of the modern day, read this. Always 100 founder Vernard Hollins released this book years ago, but it remains an important read in honor of his late father. While this is Vernard’s story, the undertones are clear: this is about Tharnell Hollins and the young boy and man that he built with his passion and his vision for Vernard. The younger Hollins has a wealth of basketball knowledge and worldly experiences and he shares them vividly in his book.
Play their Hearts Out – by George Dohrmann
If you want a really strong read about youth basketball and a pretty good representation of the good and the bad of the summertime circuit, this is the read for you. Dohrmann doesn’t equivocate here and he doesn’t feel the need to pull many punches as he kind of writes as an investigator over several years in grassroots basketball. The characters are sometimes so wild that you can’t help but imagining that they are fiction. Yet, if you have ever had any role in the grassroots basketball world, then you actually probably have met someone like each of the people Dohrmann goes in on. Rarely do you get a book quite like this, with a Pulitzer Prize winner telling such a long form tale that will pull at different emotions.
The Mamba Mentality: How I Play – by Kobe Bryant
It doesn’t matter if you loved or hated Kobe Bryant, you had to respect the way he played the game and the passion he approached it with. This autobiography is an X’s and O’s insight into that mind sight and is a real thinker for any basketball enthusiast. They call this a ‘coffee table book’ and that is a fair assessment. It is not one long deep read like the rest of this list. Instead, it really breaks things down piece by piece. That makes it a fairly quick read, but don’t listen to anyone who says that it is a waste of time because of that. Bryant’s brilliance for the game is still on full display here in a unique form that I personally thinks makes this book so much better than if it was in novel form.
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