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Terrific Hoop Reading

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Dribbling, dunking, passing, rebounding, shot blocking - all of these are part of the scene as another basketball season is upon on. And the publishing world has its products in place to capitalize on the new season. 

From Harper Collins there is "Official NBA Trivia" by Clare Martin ($10.95, 181pp.). Warner Books is showcasing "She Got Game" by Cynthia Cooper ($20.00, 256pp). And Total/Sports Illustrated has a re-issue of the classic "24 Seconds to Shoot" by Leonard Koppett ($12.95, 308pp.).


"Official NBA Trivia" is a slender volume for the serious hoop fan. Organized by team - the questions (all multiple choice) range from what some would call the ridiculous to the sublime. Here is an example from the Atlanta Hawks section: Whose coaching record did Lenny Wilkens break when he won his 939th game? A. Bill Fitch B. Red Auerbach C. Dick Motta D. Pat Riley.


The answer is "B". Overall, "Official NBA Trivia" is a good book for honing your hoops knowledge, but there is not much to read. Cynthia Cooper's book is much more significant and important, truly a rags-to-riches story about the girl who grew up very needy in the Watts section of California.


"She Got Game" begins with "The one thing that drives me and keeps me motivated is that I've always been the underdog. I was a shy and introverted little girl, not comfortable with how I looked or what I had to say."


Cynthia's mother worked two jobs and raised eight children all by herself. But the terrible bleakness of Cooper's life changed forever when she discovered basketball at age 15.


From then on, it was all uphill - a scholarship to USC, two NCAA championships, two straight championships with the WNBA's Houston Comets and two ESPY awards as Women's Pro Basketball Player of the Year. The sub-title of "She Got Game" is "My Personal Odyssey." That it is - and it is just inspirational reading.


"24 Seconds to Shoot" by Leonard Koppett - the only writer to be named to both the basketball and baseball halls of fame - was originally published in 1968. It is just wonderful to have this handsome new version of a book that contains so much basketball history about what Koppett calls "the birth and improbable rise of the NBA." 


The league began life as the Basketball Association of America in 1946 with teams in cities like Waterloo, Sheboygan and Fort Wayne. No one back then would have believed what the future had in store. The book's title "24 Seconds to Shoot," the brainchild of Danny Biasone of the old Syracuse Nationals - the 24-second clock - saved the league by speeding up what had been a dull, stalling game.

And as they say - the rest is history.


BOOKENDS: Top hot stove league reading is "Home of the Game" by Thom Loverro (Taylor, $24.95, 256pp). The book is an entertaining account of the creation of Camden Yards.


Coming this March "The Goose is Loose" by Goose Gossage with Russ Pate (Ballantine Books, $25.00, 320pp). The work is billed as "a biting look back" at the hard-throwing pitcher's memorable 22-year career.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .

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Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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