Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness: Books for Basket Fans

Cinderella stories, office pools and tournament brackets, heartbreaking moments and the thrill of victory.  Spring has arrived, and with it the most magical event in the entire sporting world: March Madness. Whether you follow the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament or not, for the next month you’ll be hearing stories of underdogs overcoming impossible odds, buzzer-beating shots that will soon become the stuff of legend, and of course, the crowning of a new national champion.

The Punch
One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever by John Feinstein
When an on-court fight broke out between the Houston Rockets and the LA Lakers just before Christmas 1977, Rudy Tomjanovitch raced to break it up. He was met by Kermit Washington's fist. This is the story of how one punch changed two lives, the NBA and how we think about basketball, forever.
Basketball Disasters
by Claudia Mills
Here's the third entry in Claudia Mills' charming middle-grade series. Mason Dixon survived the school choir. He survived adopting his now-beloved dog named, uh, Dog. But now he faces his biggest challenge yet: joining the local basketball team. Not by choice, of course. Not only do his parents encourage it, but his dad even volunteers to be his coach. Now, with his best pal Brody and a team of misfits even worse at basketball than him (if that's possible), Mason must try to rally to beat his arch-rival, the school bully Dunk. Just another day-in-the-life of a disaster-prone fourth grader.
Last Dance
Behind the Scenes at the Final Four
by John Feinstein
"The Final Four is the Holy Grail. We all talk about how we shouldn't judge our careers on making the Final Four or on winning it, but every single one of us wants to be there." -Coach Gary Williams, University of Maryland (1989-present)
When college basketball teams make it to the NCAA tournament, they say they're "going to the dance." John Feinstein's riveting new book is the story of the last dance - the Final Four. There is no event in sports quite like it. The Final Four draws millions to their televisions and thousands to a chosen city - attendance is topped only by the Super Bowl. It is the epicenter of sports madness, a circus of media, coaches, and fans swirling around the four teams talented enough to have made it to the end.

"Shoot, Minnie, Shoot!"
The Story of the 1904 Fort Shaw Indian Girls: Basketballs First World Champions
by Happy Jack Feder
In 1903, over three hundred Indian children from across America lived at the Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School in a remote, isolated valley in Montana. Among the children were a handful of teenage girls, many who had only lived in tepees. They quickly learned to play basketball and resoundingly crushed all opponents, including men's and women's university teams. After the games, the girls recited Shelley and Longfellow, played mandolins and violins, sang, danced, and pantomimed.


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