A New Year of Basketball
In three days, you'll wake up to a new year. For some, it will feel like any other day. For others, it's the start of something new and a reason to change.
Reading has changed my life. It's inspired me to continuously learn new things, get out of my comfort zone, and do things that are meaningful to me.
As a basketball fan, coach, or player, reading can be a tremendous outlet. Some books teach, while others inspire. A good one can move you in ways you never thought were possible.
With that, please enjoy the list below, whether it's on a beach, in the car, or on a folding chair at a son's or daughter's youth practice.
The Top 6
Please click on a book's cover to check the price on Amazon.
"When the Game Was Ours" by Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson: This memoir chronicles the careers and rivalry of two of the greatest players in basketball history. The book offers an intimate look at their relationship and the impact they had on the game.
"Sooley" by John Grisham: In the summer of his seventeenth year, Samuel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basketball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true. See our detailed review of Sooley here.
"The Breaks of the Game" by David Halberstam: This book chronicles the 1979-80 season of the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that was expected to win the championship but ultimately fell short. Halberstam's writing is superb, and the book offers a unique look at the inner workings of a professional basketball team.
"The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons: This is a comprehensive guide to the history of basketball, covering everything from the origins of the game to the modern era. Simmons' writing is entertaining and informative, and he provides a unique perspective on the players and teams that have shaped the sport.
"Mamba Mentality" by Kobe Bryant: This is a collection of photographs and essays that capture the mindset and work ethic that helped Kobe Bryant become one of the most successful and influential players in the history of basketball. In the book, Bryant reflects on his own career and the lessons he learned along the way, including the importance of hard work, discipline, and focus. He also discusses his personal philosophy and the mental approach that he used to succeed on and off the court. Mamba Mentality is a powerful and inspiring book that offers valuable insights and lessons for anyone looking to achieve success in their own endeavors. It is a must-read for basketball fans and anyone interested in the mental side of high-level performance.
"Shoot Your Shot” by Vernon Brundage: Shoot Your Shot' identifies the key principles that the world's most elite basketball players have applied to their lives and explains in detail how you can use those same exact principles to help you navigate through life, accomplish your goals, and realize your dreams.
“Walk-On Warrior” by John Willkom: I'm biased here because this is my book. Jokes aside, for any young player that wants an authentic look at what it's like to play division one college basketball, this book is for you.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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