For kids and teens getting serious about the game, basketball books are a great way to keep learning off the court. From iconic sports stars to stellar coaches, the authors on this list offer invaluable insights into the sport your teen loves. Which 5 basketball books for teenagers make the cut? Keep reading to find out.
True Legend by Mike Lupica
Currently one of the most prominent sports writers in America, Mike Lupica has written several best-selling basketball books. One of his recent novels, True Legend, focuses on Drew “True” Robinson, so named because of his rare and tremendous talent. True is a trouble magnet, and he’s headed down the wrong path. As a result, he is in danger of missing out on the opportunities available to him until a former playground legend steps in to mentor him.
In True Legend, Lupica writes about how making the wrong decisions can ruin your future, no matter how talented someone is on the basketball court.
The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty by Adrian Wojnarowski
In 2006, Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski published his first basketball book, culled from his experience following a New Jersey high school team that defined the word “dysfunctional.” Surrounded by urban blight in a school constantly on the brink of bankruptcy, the team was burdened with the dubious distinction of never having a single senior graduate to a Division I program.
Despite the odds, the 2003-2004 St. Anthony team still managed to stomp into a number 2 national ranking, a perfect season, and a state title. This book teaches teens that perseverance is just as important as talent on the court.
Pistol by Mark Kriegel
Sports analyst Mark Kriegel has written one of the top books on Pete Maravich, one of the youngest inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Kriegel’s account goes beyond listing the legend’s accomplishments: Maravich was the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer, and he is often cited as a virtually unsurpassable ball handler and creative offensive talent. Kriegel also delves into the dominating presence of Pete’s father, Press.
Though the book celebrates Maravich, Kriegel does not shy away from his main failings. Maravich was surly toward his teammates, his defense skills were lacking, and he never achieved an NCAA or NBA championship. Pistol is a full, accurate depiction of one of the NBA’s greatest players. A well written and honestly crafted basketball book.
Heaven Is a Playground by Rick Telander
This book is notable for not focusing on college or professional hoops, but on a description of a summer in NYC in the 1970s. Currently a Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist, Telander recounts a slice of his childhood in Brooklyn—the slang, the playground talk, and his life as a high school basketball player. Although several books on street ball have been written since, this 1976 account from Telander remains a classic.
The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam
Legendary writer David Halberstam turned to sports journalism later in his career, and The Breaks of the Game, published in 1981, is one of his better known works. Bearing his enduring trademarks—a high level of research and attention to detail—Halberstam recounts the circumstances surrounding the NBA championship season of the 1979-80 Portland Trail Blazers team. Years after its publication, the book continues to garner universal acclaim from fans, the media, and fellow writers as an outstanding basketball book for teenagers, parents, and anyone else who enjoys a well told story.
Plenty of Excellent Basketball Books
If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager and looking for some interesting basketball training books, these are five solid choices to explore. Whether you’re hoping to focus on attitude on and off the court, fundamentals of the game or dedication, there’s a basketball book out there for you.
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