A 2011 Choice Significant Title for Undergraduates
From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans, and through the rise of different playing styles, the rituals of spectatorship, and the presence of magicians and healers, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity.
African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms. Soccer was a rare form of “national culture” in postcolonial Africa, where stadiums and clubhouses became arenas in which Africans challenged colonial power and expressed a commitment to racial equality and self-determination. New nations staged matches as part of their independence celebrations and joined the world body, FIFA. The Confédération africaine de football democratized the global game through antiapartheid sanctions and increased the number of African teams in the World Cup finals.
In this compact, highly readable book Alegi shows that the result of this success has been the departure of huge numbers of players to overseas clubs and the growing influence of private commercial interests on the African game. But the growth of women’s soccer and South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup also challenge the one-dimensional notion of Africa as a backward, “tribal” continent populated by victims of war, corruption, famine, and disease.
While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did. In The Audacity of Hoop, celebrated sportswriter Alexander Wolff examines Barack Obama, the person and president, by the light of basketball. This game helped Obama explore his identity, keep a cool head, impress his future wife, and define himself as a candidate.
Wolff chronicles Obama’s love of the game from age 10, on the campaign trail—where it eventually took on talismanic meaning—and throughout his two terms in office. More than 125 photographs illustrate Obama dribbling, shooting free throws, playing pickup games, cooling off with George Clooney, challenging his special assistant Reggie Love for a rebound, and taking basketball to political meetings. There is also an assessment of Obama’s influence on the NBA, including a dawning political consciousness in the league’s locker rooms.
Sidebars reveal the evolution of the president’s playing style, “Baracketology”—a not-entirely-scientific art of filling out the commander in chief’s NCAA tournament bracket—and a timeline charts Obama’s personal and professional highlights.
Equal parts biographical sketch, political narrative, and cultural history, The Audacity of Hoop shows how the game became a touchstone in Obama’s exercise of the power of the presidency.
Pro basketball player Rasheed Wallace often exclaimed the pragmatic truth “Ball don’t lie!” during a game. It is a protest against a referee’s bad calls. But the slogan, which originated in pickup games, brings the reality of a racialized urban playground into mainstream American popular culture.
In Ball Don’t Lie!, Yago Colás traces the various forms of power at work in the intersections between basketball and language from the game’s invention to the present day. He critiques existing popular myths concerning the history of basketball, contextualizes them, and presents an alternative history of the sport inspired by innovations. Colás emphasizes the creative prerogative of players and the ways in which their innovations shape—and are shaped by—broader cultural and social phenomena.
Ball Don't Lie! shows that basketball cannot be reduced to a single, fixed or timeless essence but instead is a continually evolving exhibition of physical culture that flexibly adapts to and sparks changes in American society.
Believe it or not, Waterloo, Iowa, had an NBA team during the league’s first season, 1949 to 1950. Broadcaster and independent sports historian Tim Harwood uncovers the fascinating story of the Waterloo Hawks and the Midwest’s influence on professional basketball. Beginning with the professional leagues that led up to the creation of the National Basketball Association, Harwood recounts big games and dramatic buzzer-beaters, and the players who made them.
The first season of the NBA was far from a success. Teams had a hard time attracting fans, with games often played in half-empty arenas. When Waterloo residents learned that the team was struggling financially, they rallied behind the Hawks and purchased shares of the team in a bid to keep it afloat. Unfortunately, that community-based effort was not enough; owners of teams in larger markets pressured the league to push Waterloo—and other smaller towns like Anderson, Indiana, and Sheboygan, Wisconsin—out of the league.
Though the Hawks disappeared after their lone NBA campaign, Waterloo and other midwestern teams were nonetheless integral to getting the NBA off the ground, and their legacy continues today through some of the current franchises that relocated to larger markets. Combining newspaper accounts and personal interviews with surviving players, Harwood weaves a fascinating story of the underdog team, in the unlikeliest of places, that helped make professional basketball the worldwide success it is today.
Big money NCAA basketball had its origins in a many-sided conflict of visions and agendas. On one side stood large schools focused on a commercialized game that privileged wins and profits. Opposing them was a tenuous alliance of liberal arts colleges, historically black colleges, and regional state universities, and the competing interests of the NAIA, each with distinct interests of their own.
Kurt Edward Kemper tells the dramatic story of the clashes that shook college basketball at mid-century—and how the repercussions continue to influence college sports to the present day. Taking readers inside the competing factions, he details why historically black colleges and regional schools came to embrace commercialization. As he shows, the NCAA's strategy of co-opting its opponents gave each group just enough just enough to play along—while the victory of the big-time athletics model handed the organization the power to seize control of college sports.
An innovative history of an overlooked era, Before March Madness looks at how promises, power, and money laid the groundwork for an American sports institution.
Black Men Can't Shoot
Scott N. Brooks University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress GV885.73.P55B76 2009 | Dewey Decimal 796.3230974811
The myth of the natural black athlete is widespread, though it’s usually talked about only when a sports commentator or celebrity embarrasses himself by bringing it up in public. Those gaffes are swiftly decried as racist, but apart from their link to the long history of ugly racial stereotypes about black people—especially men—they are also harmful because they obscure very real, hard-fought accomplishments. As Black Men Can’t Shoot demonstrates, such successes on the basketball court don’t happen just because of natural gifts—instead, they grow out of the long, tough, and unpredictable process of becoming a known player.
Scott Norman Brooks spent four years coaching summer league basketball in Philadelphia. And what he saw, heard, and felt working with the young black men on his team tells us much about how some kids are able to make the extraordinary journey from the ghetto to the NCAA. He tells the story of two young men, Jermaine and Ray, following them through their high school years and chronicling their breakthroughs and frustrations on the court as well as their troubles at home. Black Men Can’t Shoot is a moving coming-of-age story that counters the belief that basketball only exploits kids and lures them into following empty dreams—and shows us that by playing ball, some of these young black men have already begun their education even before they get to college.
John B. McLendon was the last living protégé of basketball’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, and one of the “top ten basketball coaches of the century” in Billy Packer’s opinion. McLendon’s amazing records in college and pro basketball earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame (the first black coach to be inducted), and his coaching philosophy has had a huge influence on basketball coaches. Breaking Through is also a powerful and inspirational story about segregation and a champion’s struggle for equality in 1940s and 50s America.
Black Magic, ESPN’s Peabody Award–winning documentary about players and coaches who attended historically black colleges and universities, covers many of the events in McLendon’s life that Katz writes about in his book.
The 1990s were a glorious time for the Chicago Bulls, an age of historic championships and all-time basketball greats like Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. It seemed only fitting that city, county, and state officials would assist the team owners in constructing a sparkling new venue to house this incredible team that was identified worldwide with Chicago. That arena, the United Center, is the focus of Bulls Markets, an unvarnished look at the economic and political choices that forever reshaped one of America’s largest cities—arguably for the worse.
Sean Dinces shows how the construction of the United Center reveals the fundamental problems with neoliberal urban development. The pitch for building the arena was fueled by promises of private funding and equitable revitalization in a long blighted neighborhood. However, the effort was funded in large part by municipal tax breaks that few ordinary Chicagoans knew about, and that wound up exacerbating the rising problems of gentrification and wealth stratification. In this portrait of the construction of the United Center and the urban life that developed around it, Dinces starkly depicts a pattern of inequity that has become emblematic of contemporary American cities: governments and sports franchises collude to provide amenities for the wealthy at the expense of poorer citizens, diminishing their experiences as fan and—far worse—creating an urban environment that is regulated and surveilled for the comfort and protection of that same moneyed elite.
The celebration of Washington D.C. basketball is long overdue. The D.C. metro area stands second to none in its contributions to the game. Countless figures who have had a significant impact on the sport over the years have roots in the region, including E.B. Henderson, the first African-American certified to teach public school physical education, and Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to take the court in an actual NBA game. The city's Spingarn High School produced two players – Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing – recognized among the NBA’s 50 greatest at the League’s 50th anniversary celebration. No other high school in the country can make that claim.These figures and many others are chronicled in this book, the first-ever comprehensive look at the great high school players, teams and coaches in the D.C. metropolitan area. Based on more than 150 interviews, The Capital of Basketball is first and foremost a book about basketball. But in discussing the trends and evolution of the game, McNamara also uncovers the turmoil in the lives of the players and area residents as they dealt with prejudice, educational inequities, politics, and the ways the area has changed through the years.
Delving into the history of gambling and corruption in intercollegiate sports, Cheating the Spread recounts all of the major gambling scandals in college football and basketball. Digging through court records, newspapers, government documents, and university archives and conducting private interviews, Albert J. Figone finds that game rigging has been pervasive and nationwide throughout most of the sports' history. The insidious practice has spread to implicate not only bookies and unscrupulous gamblers but also college administrators, athletic organizers, coaches, fellow students, and the athletes themselves.
Naming the players, coaches, gamblers, and go-betweens involved, Figone discusses numerous college basketball and football games reported to have been fixed and describes the various methods used to gain unfair advantage, inside information, or undue profit. His survey of college football includes early years of gambling on games between established schools such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard; Notre Dame's All-American halfback and skilled gambler George Gipp; and the 1962 allegations of insider information between Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former Georgia coach James Wallace "Wally" Butts; and many other recent incidents. Notable events in basketball include the 1951 scandal involving City College of New York and six other schools throughout the East Coast and the Midwest; the 1961 point-shaving incident that put a permanent end to the Dixie Classic tournament; the 1978 scheme in which underworld figures recruited and bribed several Boston College players to ensure a favorable point spread; the 1994-95 Northwestern scandal in which players bet against their own team; and other recent examples of compromised gameplay and gambling.
Al McGuire was the Mark Twain of college basketball. Never was there a figure in the game so quoted and so quotable, on sports and on the human condition. This book collects more than a hundred of McGuire’s most colorful quotations, plus photographs from his life and career, in a tribute that is funny, poignant, and brimming with his streetwise sagacity.
McGuire, a brash and fiery New Yorker who grew up working in his parents’ saloon, played a rough and tumble game of basketball at St. John’s University and briefly in the NBA before entering the coaching ranks. He reached the pinnacle of his profession and gained national fame at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where in thirteen seasons he compiled a 295-80 record, appeared in nine NCAA tournaments, and won eighty-one home games in a row. He was a fine coach who cared deeply about his players and was beloved by his teams and fans alike, but his flamboyance and his mouth sometimes got him into trouble. The end of his coaching career captivated the nation: McGuire wept on the bench as his Marquette Warriors won the national title.
McGuire then began a ground-breaking career in network broadcasting, adding a zest and unconventionality that the college game had never seen. His sometimes bizarre and always entertaining commentary kept viewers tuned in even after the outcome of a lopsided game was a foregone conclusion. When Al McGuire died of leukemia in 2001, the sports world lost a true original.
In 2008, the men's wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois set out to achieve their sport's pinnacle: a college national championship. That lofty goal represented another stage of a journey begun in 1948 when Tim Nugent established the Gizz Kids wheelchair squad. Embedded with the team, Josh Birnbaum took photos that captured the life experiences of people in the Illinois wheelchair basketball program from 2005 through the 2008 championship season. Dream Shot follows the unique lives of the players and coaches on the court and the road, and in quiet moments at home and the classroom. Along the way, Birnbaum provides the definitive story of the 2008 team and the challenges it overcame to capture one of Illinois's record fifteen men's titles. Featuring more than 100 color photographs, Dream Shot memorializes a legendary team alongside the story of the university's dedication to the progress of disability rights.
Duke basketball is one of the most celebrated programs in intercollegiate athletics. With fourteen Final Four appearances and three national championships for the men’s teams and four Final Four appearances and five ACC championships for the women’s teams, the Blue Devils have established a worldwide reputation for excellence and have inspired the fierce devotion of generations of fans.
The Encyclopedia of Duke Basketball is the ultimate reference source for true-blue fans, with profiles of great games, classic finishes (both wins and losses), and compelling personalities, including players, coaches, and opponents. While it is filled with a wealth of statistical information, the Encyclopedia goes well beyond the numerical record to deliver insights on people and performances and anecdotes that will surprise even the most seasoned Duke supporter.
The Encyclopedia features: — A timeline of key events in men’s and women’s basketball history. — Capsules of the most important men’s and women’s games in the program’s history, including the men’s buzzer-beating overtime win against Kentucky in 1992 and the women’s stunning victory over Tennessee to reach the Final Four in 1999. — An alphabetical encyclopedia with entries on players from Alaa Abdelnaby to Bill Zimmer and on coaches, customs, opponents, venues, and records. — Exclusive interviews in which standout players, including Danny Ferry, Mike Gminski, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and Jason Williams, recount moments they’ll never forget. — A statistical record book covering every season through 2005–06. —130 photographs of Duke basketball history.
A source of entertainment as well as information, this volume will be a great resource for fans hoping to settle arguments, relive favorite games, or simply enjoy hours of pleasurable reading.
If baseball is the sport of nostalgic prose, basketball’s movement, myths, and culture are truly at home in verse. In this extraordinary collection of essays, poets meditate on what basketball means to them: how it has changed their perspective on the craft of poetry; how it informs their sense of language, the body, and human connectedness; how their love of the sport made a difference in the creation of their poems and in the lives they live beyond the margins. Walt Whitman saw the origins of poetry as communal, oral myth making. The same could be said of basketball, which is the beating heart of so many neighborhoods and communities in this country and around the world. On the court and on the page, this “poetry in motion” can be a force of change and inspiration, leaving devoted fans wonderstruck.
With 1,098 wins and eight national championships, Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt has left a remarkable legacy of perseverance, leadership, and passion for the game—but her victories on the court aren’t the only legacy she has left in her wake.
Since the beginning of her career as Lady Vol head coach at twenty-two years old, Pat Head Summitt effectively established the University of Tennessee Lady Vols as the top women’s athletics program in the nation. The winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball, Summitt overcame one obstacle after another on the road to every victory, but it is the lives she has impacted along the way that tell the story of her true legacy. Forever a role model for young women, expecting nothing but the best from her players and from those around her, her legacy has never faltered—not even during her final season as head coach, when she faced her fiercest adversary yet: the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
In The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt, Maria M. Cornelius tells the story of her final coaching season through the eyes of those who know her best, from players to support staff to Summitt’s closest friends and advisors. Beginning with the diagnosis that shook the Tennessee community in the summer of 2011 and continuing through to the final game of the 2011–12 season, The Final Season presents readers with a behind-the-scenes look at the conclusion of Summitt’s coaching career, detailing from the perspective of a sports writer how her diagnosis impacted her players and her staff as well as her fans.
With forewords by former Lady Vol Candace Parker and Swish Appeal editor Mike Robinson, The Final Season reveals how Summitt’s remarkable story of perseverance not only united a team of young women but also brought an entire sports following together, revealing an incredible support system that spanned far beyond Summitt’s Tennessee community. The coach’s determined spirit, selfless love, and sense of humor shine through the pages of Cornelius’s book, painting for readers the picture of a beloved leader and detailing the personal moments of defeat and triumph that make Summitt a true champion.
With Following the Ball, Todd Cleveland incorporates labor, sport, diasporic, and imperial history to examine the extraordinary experiences of African football players from Portugal’s African colonies as they relocated to the metropole from 1949 until the conclusion of the colonial era in 1975. The backdrop was Portugal’s increasingly embattled Estado Novo regime, and its attendant use of the players as propaganda to communicate the supposed unity of the metropole and the colonies.
Cleveland zeroes in on the ways that players, such as the great Eusébio, creatively exploited opportunities generated by shifts in the political and occupational landscapes in the waning decades of Portugal’s empire. Drawing on interviews with the players themselves, he shows how they often assumed roles as social and cultural intermediaries and counters reductive histories that have depicted footballers as mere colonial pawns.
To reconstruct these players’ transnational histories, the narrative traces their lives from the informal soccer spaces in colonial Africa to the manicured pitches of Europe, while simultaneously focusing on their off-the-field challenges and successes. By examining this multi-continental space in a single analytical field, the book unearths structural and experiential consistencies and contrasts, and illuminates the components and processes of empire.
In articles for the newspaper O Brado Africano in the mid-1950s, poet and journalist José Craveirinha described the ways in which the Mozambican football players in the suburbs of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) adapted the European sport to their own expressive ends. Through gesture, footwork, and patois, they used what Craveirinha termed “malice”—or cunning—to negotiate their places in the colonial state. “These manifestations demand a vast study,” Craveirinha wrote, “which would lead to a greater knowledge of the black man, of his problems, of his clashes with European civilization, in short, to a thorough treatise of useful and instructive ethnography.”
In Football and Colonialism, Nuno Domingos accomplishes that study. Ambitious and meticulously researched, the work draws upon an array of primary sources, including newspapers, national archives, poetry and songs, and interviews with former footballers. Domingos shows how local performances and popular culture practices became sites of an embodied history of Mozambique. The work will break new ground for scholars of African history and politics, urban studies, popular culture, and gendered forms of domination and resistance.
“From Six-on-Six to Full Court Press is a complete history of Iowa women’s high school, college, and recreational basketball. Beran’s exhaustive research . . . covers legendary players and coaches, changes in rules, stats on Iowa girls’ high school records, alterations in playing styles and uniforms, along with the heart-stopping excitement of the state tournament.”—Hoop Source
The tenth volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press’s celebrated Youth Biography Series examines the life of a man who helped define college basketball in the twentieth century and became an icon of American sports—John Wooden. He was born in the small Indiana town of Martinsville near the start of the last century. His claim to fame came first as an accomplished athlete, helping his high school basketball team compete in three state championship games, then earning All-American honors three times in his home state as a starting guard at Purdue University. After briefly teaching high school English and coaching several sports in Dayton, Kentucky, Wooden returned to Indiana, where he launched a successful career coaching basketball at South Bend Central High School and later at Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana State University) in Terre Haute.
In 1948, at age thirty-seven, Wooden moved west, as did many Americans in the post-World War II era. He took over the head basketball job at the University of California at Los Angeles, a school with virtually no basketball tradition. He took his family and his coaching skills with him. He also took his midwestern values. For the next six decades he remained in Southern California, creating a basketball dynasty at UCLA and solidifying his place as one of the sporting world’s greats. When he died on June 4, 2010, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, he was four months shy of his hundredth birthday.
Wooden’s success as a college coach was unprecedented and, in pure numbers, staggering. From 1964 to 1975, he led the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team to ten National Collegiate Athletic Association national basketball championships, including seven in a row—a feat that may never be matched. During that string of championships, he coached the Bruins to four perfect 30–0 seasons, an NCAA men’s record that still stands. He also coached UCLA to an eighty-eight-game winning streak, yet another unrivaled men’s record. Over the course of his twenty-seven seasons at UCLA, he mentored All-Americans such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, earned the respect of legions of players, and inspired countless would-be roundballers and coaches alike.
These achievements put Wooden in the company of legendary coaches throughout the field of sports. Even in that elite company, he fared especially well. In 2009 Sporting News magazine asked more than one hundred coaches and sports experts to name the greatest coach of all time in any sport. Not surprisingly, coaching giants such as the Green Bay Packers’s Vince Lombardi, Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, the Boston Celtics’s Red Auerbach, and New York Yankees’s Casey Stengel ranked in the top ten; Wooden stood at number one the list.
Long before that ranking, however, awards and honors flowed Wooden’s way. In 1973 he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as coach, making him the first to be honored as both a player and a coach. (He received the honor as a player in 1960.) In 1977 college basketball’s annual player-of-the-year award was named for him. The NCAA bestowed its highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt award, on Wooden in 1995. And in 2006 the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri, honored him as a member of the founding class, along with basketball inventor Doctor James Naismith.
Accolades also poured in from outside the sports world. In 2003 President George W. Bush awarded Wooden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, American’s highest civilian honor. Two years later, Indiana bestowed on him its highest honor, the Sachem, an award recognizing a lifetime of excellence and virtue. In earlier decades, entities ranging from service clubs to faith-based organizations to universities rushed to salute not only his accomplishments but also his character.
Clair Bee (1896-1983) was a hugely successful basketball coach at Rider College and Long Island University with a 412 and 87 record before his career was derailed in 1951 by a point-shaving scandal. In the trial that sent his star player, Sherman White, to prison, the judge excoriated Bee for creating a morally lax culture that contributed to his players' involvement with gambling. To a certain extent, Bee agreed with the judge's scolding, concluding that coaches, himself included, had become so driven to succeed on the court that they had lost sight of the educational role sports should play. His coaching career effectively over, Bee launched an effort to reform the ills he saw in college sports, and he did so in the pages of the Chip Hilton novels for young readers. He began the series in 1948, but it was the post-scandal books that he used as teaching tools. The books mirrored some of the events of the gambling scandal and were Bee's attempt to reform the problems plaguing college sports. He used his fiction to posit a better sports world that he hoped his young readers would construct and inhabit. The Chip Hilton books were extremely popular and have become a classic series, with over two million copies sold to date. Hoop Crazy is the fascinating story of Clair Bee and his star character Chip Hilton and the ways in which their lives, real and fictional, were intertwined.
"The players today are much better than we were...But there is one thing that we could do better. We could pass the ball better than they do now. Man, we used to pass that basketball around like it was a hot potato."
--Sam "Buck" Covington, former member of the Washington Bruins
In a nation distinguished by a great black athletic heritage, there is perhaps no sport that has felt the impact of African American culture more than basketball. Most people assume that the rise of black basketball was a fortuitous accident of the inner-city playgrounds. In Hot Potato, Bob Kuska shows that it was in fact a consciously organized movement with very specific goals.
When Edwin Henderson introduced the game to Washington, D.C., in 1907, he envisioned basketball not as an end in itself but as a public-health and civil-rights tool. Henderson believed that, by organizing black athletics, including basketball, it would be possible to send more outstanding black student athletes to excel at northern white colleges and debunk negative stereotypes of the race. He reasoned that in sports, unlike politics and business, the black race would get a fair chance to succeed. Henderson chose basketball as his marquee sport, and he soon found that the game was a big hit on Washington's segregated U Street. Almost simultaneously, black basketball was catching on quickly in New York, and the book establishes that these two cities served as the birthplace of the black game.
Hot Potato chronicles the many successes and failures of the early years of black amateur basketball. It also recounts the emergence of black college basketball in America, documenting the origins of the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association, or CIAA, which would become the Big Ten of black collegiate sports.
The book also details for the first time the rise of black professional basketball in America, with a particular emphasis on the New York Renaissance, a team considered by experts to be as important in the development of black basketball as the Harlem Globetrotters. Kuska recounts the Renaissance's first victory over the white world champion Original Celtics in 1925, and he evaluates the significance of this win in advancing equality in American sports. By the late 1920s, the Renaissance became one of the sport's top draws in white and black America alike, setting the stage for the team's undisputed world championship in 1939. As Edwin Henderson had hoped -- and as any fan of the modern-day game can tell you -- the triumphs certainly did not end there.
It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both)—came to create a game that has endured for over a century.
James Naismith reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.”
With unprecedented access to the Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the 13 rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas—establishing college basketball in the process—and was honored for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.
Jesse Crosse: a novel
Michael J. Moran Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2011 Library of Congress PZ7.M78824Je 2011
Mike Moran first attended Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys-all four years. On the basketball team, he was a point guard. Then, as "Mr. Moran," he taught English for forty years, also at Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys. Recently retired, Moran wrote the boys a novel. The tale revolves around a struggling small-town basketball team with a nerdy manager and a Walter Mittyesque coach. Presented with too few players to scrimmage in practice, the manager takes it upon himself to spread the word throughout the school: "We need you on the team." Three young students appear, diminutive in stature and with scrawny chests, unimpressive at first sight. But with the trio, and their fleet leader Jesse Crosse, the team first experiences shock, then inspiration and constant surprises. The team bonds, leading to stories that will be retold a very long time in a small, out-of-the-way town. It's not a long novel; like one's high school years, it goes by before you know it. Only the message is eternal.
The previously untold story of women’s basketball’s beginnings “Ikard (a basketball aficionado and amateur historian) offers a meticulous history of women’s basketball in the US—from the first game played at Smith College in 1892 to the 1970s—but he focuses on the AAU in the first half of the 20th century. . . . This period of women’s basketball is rarely discussed, so Ikard’s book will be valuable to sports historians. . . . Highly recommended.”-Choice
For over 150 years the Lakota have tenaciously defended their culture and land against white miners, settlers, missionaries, and the U.S. Army, and paid the price. Their economy is in shambles and they face serious social issues, but their culture and outlook remain vibrant. Basketball has a role to play in the way that people on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation configure their hopes for a better future, and for pride in their community.
In Lakota Hoops, anthropologist Alan Klein trains his experienced eye on the ways that Lakota traditions find a seamless expression in the sport. In a variety of way such as weaving time-honored religious practices into the game or extending the warrior spirit of Crazy Horse to the players on the court, basketball has become a preferred way of finding continuity with the past. But the game is also well suited to the present and has become the largest regular gathering for all Lakota, promoting national pride as well as a venue for the community to creatively and aggressively confront white bigotry when needed.
Richly researched and filled with interviews with Pine Ridge residents, including both male and female players, Lakota Hoops offers a compelling look at the highs and lows of a community that has made basketball its own.
Throughout the NCAA Tournament’s history, underdogs, Cinderella stories, and upsets have captured the attention and imagination of fans. Making March Madness is the story of this premiere tournament, from its early days in Kansas City, to its move to Madison Square Garden, to its surviving a point-shaving scandal in New York and taking its games to different sites across the country.Chad Carlson’s analysis places college basketball in historical context and connects it to larger issues in sport and American society, providing fresh insights on a host of topics that readers will find interesting, illuminating, and thought provoking.
Midnight basketball may not have been invented in Chicago, but the City of Big Shoulders—home of Michael Jordan and the Bulls—is where it first came to national prominence. And it’s also where Douglas Hartmann first began to think seriously about the audacious notion that organizing young men to run around in the wee hours of the night—all trying to throw a leather ball through a metal hoop—could constitute meaningful social policy.
Organized in the 1980s and ’90s by dozens of American cities, late-night basketball leagues were designed for social intervention, risk reduction, and crime prevention targeted at African American youth and young men. In Midnight Basketball, Hartmann traces the history of the program and the policy transformations of the period, while exploring the racial ideologies, cultural tensions, and institutional realities that shaped the entire field of sports-based social policy. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the book also brings to life the actual, on-the-ground practices of midnight basketball programs and the young men that the programs intended to serve. In the process, Midnight Basketball offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of the intricate ways sports, race, and risk intersect and interact in urban America.
Eddie Gottlieb-The Mogul -was one of the most colorful figures in Philadelphia sports history. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he founded, played and coached for the legendary South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (SPHAs) basketball team, helped form the National Basketball Association, owned the Warriors franchise, and created the NBA's annual schedule of games for over a quarter-century. In baseball, he co-owned the Philadelphia Stars in the Negro Leagues and tried unsuccessfully to buy the Philadelphia Phillies. Locally, he was the city's leading sports booking agent for activities ranging from sandlot baseball to semipro football to professional wrestling.
Drawing upon sixty-plus interviews and many archival sources, well-known Philadelphia sports historian Rich Westcott vividly portrays Gottlieb's role in a pivotal era in city sports, in the process offering histories of the SPHAs, Warriors, and Stars and the role of Jews and African Americans in the city's sporting history.
Tom Gola is a Philadelphia Big Five basketball icon. He led La Salle to the NIT championship in 1952 and the NCAA championship in 1954, and holds the NCAA record for most rebounds in a career. Gola also helped the Philadelphia Warriors win the NBA championship as a rookie in 1956 and was named an All-Star five times before retiring in 1966. But Gola also had many amazing achievements as a coach; his La Salle Explorer teams were a large part of the national basketball landscape. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976.
In Mr. All-Around, avid sports fan and reporter David Grzybowski provides a definitive biography of Gola. He uses exclusive interviews he conducted with Gola in 2013 and features anecdotes by many figures of Philadelphia and basketball history, including John Cheney, Fran Dunphy, and Lionel Simmons.
After the NBA, Gola transitioned to a second career as a politician, serving as Pennsylvania State Representative and Philadelphia City Controller. His dedication to public service involved joining politician Arlen Specter on a campaign that revolutionized political marketing within Philadelphia. Mr. All-Around is an affectionate testament to the life, career, and legacy of one of Philadelphia’s most beloved sports legends.
“Why should a particular game, played with a round ball by twenty-year-olds in short pants often hundreds of miles away, mean so much to me, since I seem to have so little to gain or lose by its outcome?” Fred Hobson thus begins Off the Rim, his narrative of college basketball and society, of growing up and not growing up. He seeks the answer to this question by delving into the particulars of his own experience.
Growing up in a small town in the hills of North Carolina where basketball was king, he became a rabid UNC basketball fan (like many others) at the tender age of thirteen during the Tar Heels’ “magical” 32–0 national championship season in 1956–1957. He starred as a high school basketball player and lived a dream by “walking on” the highly successful 1961–1962 Carolina freshman team. That was also the year Dean Smith was elevated to head coach of the Heels. Hobson observed firsthand Coach Smith’s difficult early days before he became the winningest coach in college basketball.
Forced to find a substitute for his beloved sport after not making the varsity his sophomore year, Hobson turned to the romance of books, both reading and writing them. Changing his major to English, he discovered the joys of William Faulkner and Richard Wright, Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O'Connor, and H. L. Mencken, and made a career teaching American literature.
This is a book about basketball that is more than a book about basketball. It is, in the beginning, a depiction of a part of the South that departs from the usual idea of Dixie, a look into the culture, religion, and politics of the Carolina hills. It is a portrait of the people who made up the South, including the author’s parents, who both were and were not conventional southerners. Finally, in some respects, it is the story of a boyhood that never ends, relived each year during basketball season in the frantic, tortured life of a fan.
Although Hobson’s story is largely about the Tar Heels—and about other things related to growing up in the South of the 1950s—what he says about basketball, childhood, and adulthood also holds true for those who find themselves in emotional bondage to Hoosiers or Bulldogs or Ducks, to Wolverines, Gophers, Badgers, and various other species of Upper Midwestern low-lying ground fauna, to Blue Devils or Blue Demons, to Tigers, Wildcats, Cougars, and all other breeds of cat.
“Not many people are aware of the drama of Ivy League basketball. Outside the Limelight is a wonderful tribute to one of the most undervalued conferences in college basketball. I know. I've got the tuition bills.” —Tony Kornheiser, ESPN
“Growing up, I was very impressed with Bill Bradley, Jim McMillian, and Heyward Dotson. They fueled my interest in going to an Ivy League school. I hoped we as a team could duplicate the success they had at their schools. Kathy Orton introduces college basketball fans to the Ivy League beyond the well-known names and tells the story of the joys and sorrows of a season.” —James Brown, CBS Sports and Showtime studio host
“In my book, there is no such thing as an Ivy League player. There is such a thing as a basketball player who happens to play in the Ivy League. As Outside the Limelight reveals, when they come out of the locker room and step across the white line, they are basketball players, period.” —Pete Carril, former Princeton coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member
This fascinating book reveals that Chinese Americans began “shooting hoops” nearly a century before Chinese superstar Yao Ming turned pro. Drawing on interviews with players and coaches, Outside the Paint takes readers back to San Francisco in the 1930s and 1940s, when young Chinese American men and women developed a new approach to the game—with fast breaks, intricate passing and aggressive defense—that was ahead of its time.
Every chapter tells a surprising story: the Chinese Playground, the only public outdoor space in Chinatown; the Hong Wah Kues, a professional barnstorming men’s basketball team; the Mei Wahs, a championship women’s amateur team; Woo Wong, the first Chinese athlete to play in Madison Square Garden; and the extraordinarily talented Helen Wong, whom Kathleen Yep compares to Babe Didrikson.
Outside the Paint chronicles the efforts of these highly accomplished athletes who developed a unique playing style that capitalized on their physical attributes, challenged the prevailing racial hierarchy, and enabled them, for a time, to leave the confines of their segregated world. They learned to dribble, shoot, and steal.
The most famous basketball tournament in the history of college basketball is the Big Five. And the Big Five was played in the most hallowed halls of college play: the Palestra. Now, for the first time, a complete story of this Philadelphia rivalry is revealed.
Robert Lyons offers the story of the Big Five from its very beginnings in 1955. At that time, many of the Big Five schools -- La Salle University, University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph's University, Temple University, and Villanova University -- weren't even talking to each other, and everyone predicted the tournament would end before it began. Conducting interviews with coaches and players -- including famed Temple coach Harry Litwack's last interview before his death -- Lyons offers the play-by-play on how the Big Five became an institution, and how it was ultimately undone by college basketball's own success.
Lavishly illustrated with photographs of players, teams, coaches, and the Palestra itself, Palestra Pandemonium is an immediate classic, offering a chronicle of the most monumental college basketball tournament. Anywhere.
Today's National Basketball Association commands millions of spectators worldwide, and its many franchises are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the league wasn't always so successful or glamorous: in the 1940s and 1950s, the NBA and its predecessor, the Basketball Association of America, were scrambling to attract fans. Teams frequently played in dingy gymnasiums, players traveled as best they could, and their paychecks could bounce higher than a basketball. How did the NBA evolve from an obscure organization facing financial losses to a successful fledgling sports enterprise by 1960?
Drawing on information from numerous archives, newspaper and periodical articles, and Congressional hearings, The Rise of the National Basketball Association chronicles the league's growing pains from 1946 to 1961. David George Surdam describes how a handful of ambitious ice hockey arena owners created the league as a way to increase the use of their facilities, growing the organization by fits and starts. Rigorously analyzing financial data and league records, Surdam points to the innovations that helped the NBA thrive: regular experiments with rules changes to make the game more attractive to fans, and the emergence of televised sports coverage as a way of capturing a larger audience. Notably, the NBA integrated in 1950, opening the game to players who would dominate the game by the end of the 1950sdecade: Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Oscar Robertson. Long a game that players loved to play, basketball became a professional sport well supported by community leaders, business vendors, and an ever-growing number of fans.
For more than a decade, the UCLA dynasty defined college basketball. In twelve seasons from 1964 to 1975, John Wooden's teams won ten national titles, including seven consecutive championships. The Bruins made history by breaking numerous records, but they also rose to prominence during a turbulent age of political unrest and youthful liberation. When Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton--the most famous college basketball players of their generation--spoke out against racism, poverty, and the Vietnam War, they carved out a new role for athletes, casting their actions on and off the court in a political light.
The Sons of Westwood tells the story of the most significant college basketball program at a pivotal period in American cultural history. It weaves together a story of sports and politics in an era of social and cultural upheaval, a time when college students and college athletes joined the civil rights movement, demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and rejected the dominant Cold War culture. This is the story of America's culture wars played out on the basketball court by some of college basketball's most famous players and its most memorable coach.
Founded in 1918, the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association's basketball team, known as the SPHAS, was a top squad in the American Basketball League-capturing seven championships in thirteen seasons-until it disbanded in 1959. In The SPHAS, the first book to chronicle the history of this team and its numerous achievements, Douglas Stark uses rare and noteworthy images of players and memorabilia as well as interviews and anecdotes to recall how players like Inky Lautman, Cy Kaselman, and Shikey Gotthoffer fought racial stereotypes of weakness and inferiority while spreading the game's popularity. Team owner Eddie Gottlieb and Temple University coach Harry Litwack, among others profiled here, began their remarkable careers with the SPHAS.
Stark explores the significance of basketball to the Jewish community during the game's early years, when Jewish players dominated the sport and a distinct American Jewish identity was on the rise. At a time when basketball teams were split along ethnic lines, the SPHAS represented the Philadelphia Jewish community. The SPHAS is an inspiring and heartfelt tale of the team on and off the court.
In urban and rural high schools throughout Illinois, basketball is a Friday night ritual. Local games are often the biggest thing happening all week, and the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and state tournaments attract fanatical fans by the thousands.
Far from the jaded professionals, the stories in Taylor Bell's Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie, and Bobby Joe are of hungry young men playing their hearts out, where high-tops and high hopes inspire "hoop dreams" from Peoria to Pinckneyville, and Champaign to Chicago. Bell, a life-long fan and authority on high school basketball in Illinois, brings together for the first time the stories of the great players, teams, and coaches from the 1940s through the 1990s.
The book is titled for four players who reflect the unique quality of high school basketball, and whose first names are enough to trigger memories in fans who love the sport -- Sweet Charlie Brown, Dike Eddleman, Cazzie Russell, and Bobby Joe Mason. Bell offers exciting accounts of their exploits, told with a journalistic flair.
Beyond a lifetime spent covering the sport, Bell's research includes three hundred and fifty personal interviews with coaches, administrators, family members, and fans. He has attended the Elite Eight finals of every boys' state basketball tournament since 1958, and met and written about many of the most outstanding teams, coaches, and players who helped to make Illinois one of the most exciting arenas for high school basketball in the United States. Sixty photographs add depth to the accounts.
By a fan, for the fans, Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie, and Bobby Joe is the authoritative book on high school basketball in Illinois, and will elate anyone who has thrilled to the poignant highs and shattering lows of high school sports.
This engaging book chronicles the Carbondale Terriers’ 1993–94 season, a season in which the team progressed all the way to the state high school basketball championship game before ending the season with a one-point loss.
Although arranged chronologically, the book is much more than a team diary. Paul E. Bates, whose son was one of the team’s starting guards, brings his sensitivity and expertise as an educational psychologist to bear on team sports in general and on how they define and are defined by the players and coaches that make up the teams and by the communities in which they thrive.
Bates frames the team’s experience by sharing his own personal love of basketball, beginning with his childhood years in Decatur, Illinois, when Stephen Decatur High School was a perennial Illinois high school powerhouse. Through his exploration of the sport and his involvement and interest in it, Bates creates a book that serves both as a rousing tale of youthful achievement and as a history of high school basketball in the state of Illinois.
Throughout his account, Bates repeatedly emphasizes his belief that extraordinary accomplishment is no accident but rather the result of years of preparation, dedication, and hard work. Most of the key performers on the 1993–94 Terriers, for example, had played together on a grade school all-star team that was undefeated. Then, in junior high, this group went on to win numerous championships, and in high school their remarkable success continued, even though their accomplishments were humbled by season-ending losses.
But Vicarious Thrills leads the reader through a very personal account of both the ups and downs of championship basketball. Triumph does not occur without defeat, and it is through defeat that the team members, as well as their families and other supporters, learn many important lessons. As significant as the individual and team accomplishments are in making up this story, the 1993–94 basketball season is more importantly a beginning rather than the defining moment in the lives of these young men.
As an inspiration and motivation to young people, and as a spark to memories of childhood aspirations for older readers, this book is a pleasure to read for individuals of all ages.
Melvin Juette has said that becoming paralyzed in a gang-related shooting was “both the worst and best thing that happened” to him. The incident, he believes, surely spared the then sixteen year-old African American from prison and/or an early death. It transformed him in other ways, too. He attended college and made wheelchair basketball his passion—ultimately becoming a star athlete and playing on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team.
In Wheelchair Warrior, Juette reconstructs the defining moments of his life with the assistance of sociologist Ronald Berger. His poignant memoir is bracketed by Berger’s thoughtful introduction and conclusion, which places this narrative of race, class, masculinity and identity into proper sociological context, showing how larger social structural forces defined his experiences. While Juette’s story never gives into despair, it does challenge the idea of the “supercrip.”
For nearly one hundred years, basketball has been an important part of Japanese American life. Women’s basketball holds a special place in the contemporary scene of highly organized and expansive Japanese American leagues in California, in part because these leagues have produced numerous talented female players. Using data from interviews and observations, Nicole Willms explores the interplay of social forces and community dynamics that have shaped this unique context of female athletic empowerment. As Japanese American women have excelled in mainstream basketball, they have emerged as local stars who have passed on the torch by becoming role models and building networks for others.