Brian Doyle himself explains it best: "A few years ago I was moaning to my wry gentle dad that basketball, which seems to me inarguably the most graceful and generous and swift and fluid and ferociously-competitive-without-being-sociopathic of sports, has not produced rafts of good books, like baseball and golf and cricket and surfing have . . . Where are the great basketball novels to rival The Natural and the glorious Mark Harris baseball quartet and the great Bernard Darwin's golf stories? Where are the annual anthologies of terrific basketball essays? How can a game full of such wit and creativity and magic not spark more great books?"
"'Why don't you write one?' said my dad, who is great at cutting politely to the chase."
And so he has. In this collection of short essays, Brian Doyle presents a compelling account of a life lived playing, watching, loving, and coaching basketball. He recounts his passion for the gyms, the playgrounds, the sounds and scents, the camaraderie, the fierce competition, the anticipation and exhaustion, and even some of the injuries.
Brian Doyle's essays and poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The American Scholar, Orion, Commonweal, and The Georgia Review, among other magazines and journals, and in The Times of London, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Kansas City Star, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Ottawa Citizen, and Newsday, among other newspapers. He was a book reviewer for The Oregonian and a contributing essayist to both Eureka Street magazine and The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia.