Saturday, July 12, 2014

Basketball Summer Reading by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

Basketball Summer Reading

Whether you are reading for pleasure, or trying to fulfill the requirements of a summer reading list, there are a host of great basketball books that are sure to keep you turning the pages.  

Qaddafi’s Point Guard by Alex Owumi is a memoir published in 2013 that does an amazing job of bridging basketball and real world problems.  Alex emigrated to the United States from Nigeria as a young boy and landed in Boston, MA.  The narrative jumps around from Alex’s younger days as an emerging athlete struggling to figure out sports and adolescence, to when he is playing professional basketball in Libya.  Young athletes in high school will find this book informative as Alex struggles to select the right college as a student athlete.  His mistakes are well documented along the way and gives insight to a young athlete’s thought process.  It’s also very cool to read about familiar landmarks in Boston as much of the book details Alex’s experience living in the Boston area.  Alex follows his dream to Libya to play professional basketball and finds himself in the middle of war and tragedy.  This book is a good reminder that when we find something we are passionate about in life, it’s important that we don’t give up on it, no matter how bleak and blurry the dream appears.  

Another great basketball book to check out is Game by Walter Dean Myers. Game is a fictional book which tells the story of Drew, a high school basketball player in Harlem who has to adjust his game and his life when a European player joins the team and takes away some of his spotlight.  The best moments in the book are when Drew and his new teammate bring one another into their cultural worlds.  

 Other great basketball books to check out are:

The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carrol (It’s also a movie!)

Fall River Dreams by Bill Reynolds 

Heaven Is A Playground by Rick Telander 

The Last Shot by Darcy Frey 

The Jump: Sebastian Telfair and the High Stakes Business of High School Basketball by Ian O’Connor 

Remember, reading shouldn’t be something you feel like you have to do.  Try to find books that inspire you and books that you can relate to.  Reading helps so you can learn about the experiences of others and learn about different cultures.  Reading is also something which is relaxing and something which can help you focus before a game.  Lebron James frequently reads before big games to help relieve some of the stress that comes from having to perform at a high level on a regular basis.  Also, as you read some of these books about the game of basketball, think about journaling during your upcoming season.  You never know when your team is going to have a magical year.  Wouldn’t it be cool to document some of the experiences so others can read about you and your team’s journey?

Feel free to comment with some of your favorite basketball related reading material so we can all add them to our summer reading lists!

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

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