Reading List: Basketball

Basketball season is officially underway and while you’re waiting for your team to tip off, pick up some of our best books on college basketball, historic games, and more.  


The Baron and the Bear

David Kingsley Snell

“This is a book that should be read by sports fans, especially those who enjoy college basketball. . . . It is difficult to tell a familiar story and make it new, yet Snell accomplishes this very task.”—Tony Calandrillo, Sport in American History



Scott Winter

“Nebraska coach Tim Miles is a rising superstar running a once-beleaguered program that is rising right along with him. . . . [Scott Winter] has crafted a riveting, behind-the-scenes look at how Miles is doing it and all that has made [him] who he is. It is an insider’s view full of color and detail and the raw workings of a program that has captured the hearts of not just Nebraska fans but all of college basketball.”—Shelley Smith, ESPN and SportsCenter correspondent



Scott Morrow Johnson

“Scott Morrow Johnson’s Phog captures the booming voice and nimble mind of the midwesterner who spread the gospel of basketball from the University of Kansas to the world.”—Steve Marantz, author of The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ’68 Racial Divide


The Chosen Game

Charley Rosen

“Before basketball was the ‘city game,’ it was a ‘Jewish game.’ No one is better equipped than roundball aficionado and NBA-insider Charley Rosen to skillfully chronicle Jewish presence in the world of hoops, on and off the court.”—Jeffrey S. Gurock, author of Judaism’s Encounter with American Sports


Wartime Basketball

Douglas Stark

Wartime Basketball: The Emergence of a National Sport During World War II serves as a tremendous addition to the history of professional basketball.”—Susan J. Rayl, ARETE


Goldberg-Good of the Game.indd


Jeff Goldberg

“Highly recommended for basketball and collegiate sports fans as well as readers interested in learning about this important era in women’s history.”—Katie McGaha, Library Journal



When Basketball Was Jewish

Douglas Stark

“A terrific first-person account of basketball life. As I read the stories of people I knew, like Nat Holman and of course my dad, Dolph Schayes, I found myself living the stories of their time in the game. Their accounts are so real and dynamic that the game comes to life as you feel like you are experiencing it with them. A terrific read!”—Danny Schayes, eighteen-year NBA player and son of Hall of Fame and NBA top-fifty player Dolph Schayes



Michael and the Whiz Kids

John Christgau

“An absolutely great read, not just for basketball fans. John Christgau puts us back in the 1960s. We are there when the ‘Whiz Kids’ and the sharpshooting Michael win the championship as basketball and the world are changing.”—Seymour Smith, retired sportswriter of the Baltimore Sun


Perfectly Awful

Charley Rosen

“The literature of sport usually focuses on championship teams and players. But the road to the top is littered with vanquished foes. The ’72–’73 76ers are the ultimate vanquished foe. Great reading.”—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist starred review


Billy “the Hill” and the Jump Hook

Billy McGill and Eric Brach

“Much more than a book about basketball, this is a very human story of will and determination triumphing over tremendous hardship and adversity. As such, it should appeal to all sports fans as well as to readers of autobiographies. It would also make a terrific movie.”—Library Journal starred review


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