March Madness Reading List

Whenever I hear someone dribbling a ball, I am instantly transported back to my elementary school days where a friend spared me countless times from gym class humiliation. Being a star basketball player, she was always one of the team captains. Not being a star basketball player myself, I should have been picked dead last, but she always saved me by calling my name first.

Despite having the basketball skills of a Tyrannosaurs rex, I love a great sports story, and basketball has lots of them. Our selected picks for March Madness are brimming with the magic of being part of a team, coaches who inspire and empower, tough losses, dreams achieved, and the legends who made the game what it is today.

 

1. Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas, narrated by Jay Bilas

Toughness.The popular ESPN basketball analyst and former Duke player looks at the true meaning of toughness. If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned an incomparable work ethic under coach Mike Krzyzewski, battling against the greatest college players in the game.
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2. When The Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson, narrated by Dick Hill

When The Game Was Ours.

From the moment these two legendary players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. In Celtic green was Larry Bird, the hick from French Lick with laser-beam focus, relentless determination, and a deadly jump shot, a player who demanded excellence from everyone around him.
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3. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Hugh Delehanty and Phil Jackson, narrated by Matt Walton

Eleven Rings.

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values.
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4. Chasing Perfection: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the High-Stakes Game of Creating an NBA Champion by Andy Glockner, narrated by Graham Corrigan

Chasing Perfection.

Basketball team building is the ultimate challenge at the NBA level and the last few years have seen a massive change in the amount of money, technology, and approaches to finding and evaluating players. This process starts at the high school level, goes through college, and culminates in the NBA, where the ability to identify and cultivate talent is at an absolute premium.
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5. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover, narrated by Sean Pratt

Relentless.

Direct, blunt, and brutally honest, Tim S. Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, and you never let your emotions make you weak. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack.
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6. Return of the King: LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History by Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst, narrated by Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst

The Return Of The King.What really happened when LeBron James stunned the NBA by leaving a potential dynasty in Miami to come home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How did the Cavs use secret meetings to put together the deal to add star Kevin Love? Who really made the controversial decision to fire coach David Blatt when the team was in first place? Where did the greatest comeback in NBA history truly begin-and end?
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7. Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder, narrated by Virginia Wolf

Dust Bowl Girls.At the height of the Great Depression, Sam Babb, the charismatic basketball coach of tiny Oklahoma Presbyterian College, began dreaming. Like so many others, he wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm, he recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education if they would come play for his basketball team, the Cardinals.
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8. Basketball Junkie: A Memoir by Bill Reynolds and Chris Herren, narrated by Peter Berkrot

Basketball Junkie.

A powerful, dramatic memoir of basketball star Chris Herren’s rise to fame, struggle with addiction, and path back to life.
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9. Sum It Up by Pat Head Summitt and Sally Jenkins, narrated by Sally Jenkins

Sum It Up.

Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history aad bestselling author of Reach for the Summitt and Raise The Roof, tells for the first time her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
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10. Life is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention by Jay Williams, narrated by Jay Williams

Life Is Not An Accident.

Like millions of kids before him, Jay Williams used to pretend he was making the game-winning shot while playing basketball in his New Jersey backyard. Unlike almost all of those other kids, he kept making shots until he became an NCAA champion, two-time national player, and the number-two overall NBA draft pick in 2002. But after just one season with the Chicago Bulls, his career was destroyed when he suffered a horrific accident.
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