John B. McLendon was the last living protégé of basketball’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, and one of the “top ten basketball coaches of the century” in Billy Packer’s opinion. McLendon’s amazing records in college and pro basketball earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame (the first black coach to be inducted), and his coaching philosophy has had a huge influence on basketball coaches. Breaking Through is also a powerful and inspirational story about segregation and a champion’s struggle for equality in 1940s and 50s America.
Black Magic, ESPN’s Peabody Award–winning documentary about players and coaches who attended historically black colleges and universities, covers many of the events in McLendon’s life that Katz writes about in his book.
John McLendon was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
But Smith's basketball accomplishments tell only part of his story. You may not know that Smith worked to abolish the death penalty in North Carolina and openly supported gay rights. As a high school senior in 1949, five years before the Supreme Court's historic ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education, he pleaded in vain with officials to include African-American players on the school's basketball team. Sixteen years later, after completing his fourth season as the head coach at North Carolina, Smith ventured to New York City and came back to Chapel Hill with Charlie Scott, the most significant recruit of his tenure. Scott became the school's first African-American scholarship recipient. Smith had successfully integrated major college basketball in the South.
Smith passed away in February 2015, and Dean Smith: A Basketball Life takes stock of this extraordinary man whose ideas and philosophies have shaped the best of what college basketball has been and should aspire to be in the future. In this revealing biography, author Jeff Davis calls on the reminiscences of Coach Smith's closest friends and associates, former players, coaches, and rivals, and a wealth of secondary sources, to render a rich and vivid portrait of this towering figure of 20th-century American sports.
In the first half of the twentieth century Allen took basketball from a gentlemanly, indoor recreation to the competitive game that would become a worldwide sport. Succeeding James Naismith as the University of Kansas's basketball coach in 1907, Allen led the Jayhawks for thirty-nine seasons and holds the record for most wins at that school, with 590. He also helped create the NCAA tournament and brought basketball to the Olympics. Allen changed the way the game is played, coached, marketed, and presented.
Scott Morrow Johnson reveals Allen as a master recruiter, a transformative coach, and a visionary basketball mind. Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Wilt Chamberlain, and many others benefited from Allen's knowledge of and passion for the game. But Johnson also delves into Allen's occasionally tumultuous relationships with Naismith, the NCAA, and University of Kansas administrators.
Phog: The Most Influential Man in Basketball chronicles this complex man's life, telling for the first time the full story of the man whose name is synonymous with Kansas basketball and with the game itself.
A wonderful resource for basketball fans and sports buffs.
In Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball, Bijan C. Bayne tells the story of how a kid from the streets of segregated Washington, DC, who didn’t attend college until he was over twenty, revolutionized basketball and stood up for his rights. In a time when few nationally prominent black athletes spoke out about racial inequality in the United States, Baylor refused to tolerate discrimination. On the court, with his balletic moves and urban style of play, Elgin Baylor lifted the game of basketball off the floor and into the air.
Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball includes personal reflections from Baylor’s old schoolyard companions, former teammates, players he coached in the NBA, and noted sports journalists, bringing to life his childhood, college career, and professional life with intimate detail. Basketball fans, historians, and those interested in the impact of sports on the Civil Rights Movement will all find this first-ever biography of Elgin Baylor both fascinating and inspirational.
Whether he is writing about baseball as the agrarian game, football as similar to warfare, basketball as the embodiment of post-industrial society, or the moral havoc created by baseball's designated hitter rule, Mandelbaum applies the full force of his learning and wit to subjects about which so many Americans care passionately: the games they played in their youth and continue to follow as adults. By offering a fresh and unconventional perspective on these games, The Meaning of Sports makes for fascinating and rewarding reading both for fans and newcomers.
The rising popularity of the professional game led to the formation of the World Professional Basketball Tournament (WPBT) in 1939. The original March Madness, the WPBT was played in Chicago for ten years and allowed professional, amateur, barnstorming, and independent teams to compete in a round-robin tournament. The WPBT included all-black and integrated teams in the first instance where all-black teams could compete for a "world series of basketball" against white teams. Wartime Basketball describes how the WPBT paved the way for the National Basketball League to integrate in December 1942, five years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball.
Weaving stories from the court into wartime and home-front culture like a finely threaded bounce pass, Wartime Basketball sheds light on important developments in the sport's history that have been largely overlooked.