Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
uneblinstu

OT: Biographies

Recommended Posts

I had someone who knows I'm a big sports fan ask me if I could recommend biographies on major NBA players, he specifically named Jordan and LeBron. I don't read a ton of sports biographies so I didn't have any suggestions. He's got a young son, about 7 or 8 who's really into basketball. Anyone on here have any help here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, uneblinstu said:

I had someone who knows I'm a big sports fan ask me if I could recommend biographies on major NBA players, he specifically named Jordan and LeBron. I don't read a ton of sports biographies so I didn't have any suggestions. He's got a young son, about 7 or 8 who's really into basketball. Anyone on here have any help here?

 

I liked Larry Bird’s. I think it was called Drive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't read a lot of authorized biographies or autobiographies since they tend to homogenize the subject's life too much. I have many excellent baseball recommendations for biographies if anyone ever needs them. Most are not suitable for kids who are not yet teenagers. Adults may want to try Bill Walton's autobiography "Back from the Dead" to see the considerable physical problems he has had to overcome in his later years. It will make those who find some of his buffoonish work as a commentator more tolerable. David Halberstam's classic "The Breaks of the Game" is a much better book about Walton's Portland Trailblazer days. For an inspirational story the late ESPN announcer Scott Stuart wrote one called ""Every Day I Fight" which is hard to beat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I ask about MJ and LBJ specifically because he asked about them specifically. Him and his wife adopted him a couple hears ago. The kid is black, they're white and are looking for African American role models to start to introduce him to. I probably won't give them Wilt Chamberlain...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, uneblinstu said:

So, I ask about MJ and LBJ specifically because he asked about them specifically. Him and his wife adopted him a couple hears ago. The kid is black, they're white and are looking for African American role models to start to introduce him to. I probably won't give them Wilt Chamberlain...

 

Funny Wilt reference; I got his autobiography for Christmas as an 8th grader.   Upon reflection, that may explain some of my "issues"......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, uneblinstu said:

So, I ask about MJ and LBJ specifically because he asked about them specifically. Him and his wife adopted him a couple hears ago. The kid is black, they're white and are looking for African American role models to start to introduce him to. I probably won't give them Wilt Chamberlain...

I read a biography about Bill Russell when I was a teenager. Very interesting guy, but like Wilt's story, there were some things in there that I could not recommend for younger kids. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A really good one is Bill Bradley's.  Bradley was a tremendous basketball player who took an interesting route to the NBA.  He was an honors graduate at Princeton, attended Oxford, and played on the New York Knick NBA championship team, with among others, Phil Jackson.   He served three terms as a Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, uneblinstu said:

So, I ask about MJ and LBJ specifically because he asked about them specifically. Him and his wife adopted him a couple hears ago. The kid is black, they're white and are looking for African American role models to start to introduce him to. I probably won't give them Wilt Chamberlain...

So, as a teacher in an inner-city area, might I recommend that your friend looks for fiction books that have protagonists that are people of color? In other words, not just sports books. It can be very beneficial to read books where they are able to more closely associate with the main character, on things that touch issues they are going through or can relate to. There's a lot of research on this and it's pretty interesting, but sad (because of lack of options) topic. Most books that African American students are given to fulfill some kind of "see, we're giving you books about other African Americans," quota, are all biographies about athletes, civil rights leaders, or time pieces on slavery. There's more and better options out there for reading. 

And before anyone gets upset - I very much respect and love what your friends have done, and are looking to do. Good on them. I am only offering an alternative suggestion, with zero judgement. I just have a lot of experience and knowledge of this area and its issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, uneblinstu said:

So, I ask about MJ and LBJ specifically because he asked about them specifically. Him and his wife adopted him a couple hears ago. The kid is black, they're white and are looking for African American role models to start to introduce him to. I probably won't give them Wilt Chamberlain...

 

You want a role model for a black kid?  How about "Days of Grace: A Memoir" by Arthur Ashe?  I can't think of a more inspirational, role-model-worthy person of any race.  There's a reason there's a courage award named for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dick DeVenio played at Duke and then was an early advocate for compensating college athletes is some way. He wrote a biography of his basketball coaching father, Chuck DeVenzio entitled "There is Only One Way to Win.". There are a lot of good life lessons in that book. And by a lot, I mean a real lot. Today Coach DeVenzio probably couldn't get away with a fifth of what he did at that time.

 

Dick also wrote a book entitled, Stuff Good Players Should Know. Just a wealth of knowledge about the game and little things you can do to make yourself a better player. I would recommend that book to anyone who wants to get better or learn something about the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will bring up another real good read and it is The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty.  It is sort of a bio on Bob Hurley, but it is a compelling story.  Bob Hurley is sort of a Bob Knight type, but his heart is with the community and the kids.  So his methodology sometimes can be called into question, but his results cannot.  Good book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×