We've previously highlighted our list of Best Basketball Books overall. While that list is aimed at any reader, we wanted to create a list dedicated specifically to women.
The books below contain a diverse set of topics, from women's basketball history, to biographies, to memorable seasons worthy of being re-lived.
With one of my daughters locked into the LSU/Iowa women's national championship game last weekend, it's so exciting to see the excitement in women's basketball at an all-time high. With players like Angel Reese only being a sophomore and Caitlin Clark being a junior, women's college basketball is going to be incredibly exciting next year. At the pro level, South Carolina star, Aliyah Boston, is projected to the #1 pick in Monday's WNBA Draft.
The books below are all age appropriate for teens and up. Whether you're a player looking to improve your game, a coach, or a fan looking for a must read, we've got you covered. If you have any questions on a specific book, please shoot us a note!
13 Must Read Women's Basketball Books
1. Hoop Muses
This book is brand new, and it's awesome! Written by Kate Fagan, with curation from former WNBA star, Seimone Augustus, the book reminds me of Shea Serrano's Basketball and Other Things. The illustrations are fantastic, the history takes you back to when it all started, and Fagan poses some interesting hypotheticals, including my favorite, WNBA Jam.
2. Sum It Up
This book was included in our list of Best Basketball Books overall. Pat is tough, driven, and true to her values: all characteristics that make her one of the best to ever coach any sport. We also featured one of Pat's halftime speeches in our post about Motivational Speeches.
It's only fitting that these two books are grouped closely together, as Geno and Pat Summitt had one of the greatest coaching rivalries ever. Jackie MacMullan is a fantastic writer that asks all the right questions and gets at the heart of what drives one of America's great coaches.
4. In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle
This is a classic book that was originally published in 1995 and became an immediate national bestseller. If you enjoy books about a "season," this is arguably the best about a women's basketball team.
5. Love & Justice
Maya Moore, arguably the best player in the WNBA, shocked the sports world when she decided to retire in February of 2019 to pursue freeing Jonathan Irons from prison for a crime he didn't commit. While not your traditional "basketball" book, this book will challenge how you think about you're life's purpose.
6. The Other Side of Glory
A more recent "season" book. This one chronicles the journey of the Waconia Wildcats, as they aim to make Minnesota's state tournament after a one point loss stopped them the previous year. We previously highlighted this book in 4 of the Best Sports Books For Your Teen Daughter.
7. You Let Some Girl Beat You?
Ann Meyers is one of the greatest basketball players ever. She was the first woman signed to a 4 year scholarship at UCLA and attended the Indiana Pacers training camp in 1979. She also won national championships in multiple track and field events! If you've never heard of Ann, this a must read. For those that need to see to believe, check out the YouTube clip below.
8. Standing Tall
This is a phenomenal book on perseverance. At every step, Vivian Stringer faced obstacles, some that seemed insurmountable. Yet, her "never quit" attitude led her to the top of women's college basketball. Stringer was the first African-American college basketball coach to surpass 1,000 wins and finished her career with 1,055 wins. She coached college basketball for 50 seasons (yes, 50!) and appeared in four Final Fours.
9. Laker Girl
Shifting gears a bit to the business side of basketball, Jeanie Buss runs one of the most powerful sports franchises in the world. In a male-dominated industry, you'll learn about the Buss family, and Jeanie's take on business, basketball, and being a compassionate leader.
10. My Shot
Elena Delle Donne was only at Uconn for 48 hours before driving back to her home state of Delaware. Taking a year off from basketball to play volleyball at the University of Delaware seemed crazy at the time, but it ultimately catapulted her legendary basketball career, which is still alive and well in the WNBA.
11. Shattering The Glass
There is a tremendous amount of research in this book, from the origins of the women's game to stories about contemporary stars. I also liked how the authors go beyond basketball to talk about the evolving role of women in society and economic and political rights. Speaking of Dawn Staley, we recently wrote about her in our Weekend Takeaways.
12. Don't Let The Lipstick Fool You
Leslie chronicles her life from her childhood in Compton, California to her rise as a basketball star and Olympic gold medalist. She discusses the challenges she faced as a young girl trying to play basketball in a male-dominated sport, including being rejected from a local team because she was a girl. She also writes about the impact of her parents' divorce and how it shaped her as a person.
As Leslie's career takes off, she shares stories about playing in the WNBA and on the USA Women's Basketball team, as well as her experiences as a commentator and sports analyst. Throughout the book, Leslie also discusses her personal life, including her marriage and motherhood. Lisa was featured in our recent article: WNBA Players That Can Dunk.
13. Basketball For Women
Lieberman is one of the greatest figures in women's basketball history, as both a player and a coach. She was nicknamed "Lady Magic" in a nod to being the women's Magic Johnson. Nancy knows more about the game than any of us will every think about. In addition to this book, which is more about drills and skill development, she also wrote Playbook for Success, which is more about leadership.
Have a women's basketball book that we should check out? Let us know.
For more basketball related content, check out the Basketball section of our blog.
Last, if you've ever thought about an Audible subscription, it's a great way to engage with books (I like to listen on car rides). More information on Amazon's Audible Plus program can be found here.
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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