Street Basketball

True stories of hopes, dreams, and jump shots.



Heaven Is a Playground

By Rick Telander


Telander spent two summers in the playgrounds of 1970s Brooklyn living and breathing the street-ball life with down-on-their-luck teenagers who dreamed to escape the everyday world and find joy and solace through the pounding rhythms of hoops. His care for their stories is matched by their infectious love for the game, and the playground's almost magical ability to bring a community together in hard times.




Hoops Nation:
A Guide to America's Best Pickup Basketball

By Chris Ballard


Think you've got game? Go ahead and give it a shot. Ballard lays out the best places to find a pickup game across America. Ballard and his pals drove 31,000 miles over seven months to dig up the dirt on everything from where the pros play to which courts are the most scenic.




The Last Shot:
City Streets, Basketball Dreams

By Darcy Frey


Frey's heartbreaking tale follows four high schoolers from the Brooklyn projects who aim to be NBA stars. From the sleazy side of college recruiters and sneaker companies to the skullduggery of some high school coaches, this classic work of reporting shines a light on the cherished hopes of young players—and the implacable realities faced by those attempting to escape ghetto life via basketball.




The Basketball Diaries

By Jim Carroll


Carroll's classic coming-of-age memoir, originally excerpted in The Paris Review, tells the story of a teenage life that centered on prep-school basketball and a growing addiction to heroin that had him hustling and stealing on the streets of 1960s New York. His stories of a double life, fuelled by a visionary streak, lend every sort of game the young Carroll plays a terrible urgency.




The City Game:
Basketball from the Garden to the Playgrounds

By Pete Axthelm


Two parallel worlds: the 1969-70 season of the New York Knicks, which ended with an NBA championship, and life on the rough asphalt of Harlem and Bed-Stuy basketball courts. Pete Axhelm introduces the marvelous characters he encounters in both—including Earl "the Goat" Manigault and Herman "the Helicopter" Knowings—and paints a dramatic, often inspiring picture of New York as seen from the court.


by nancella on ‎03-04-2011 12:02 PM

Missing from the list are books about women's basketball.  The story is fascinating, including a

Native American girls team from Montana that won country-wide championships in the 30's and 40's.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.