*Starred Review* Paul Shirley is 6 feet 10 inches tall, can play basketball well enough to hang around the fringes of the NBA, and has written one of the best three or four pro-basketball books ever, ranking right up there with Bill Bradley's Life on the Run
and Bill Russell's Go Up for Glory
. It takes the form of a hoopster's travelogue, as Shirley recounts tales of his gypsylike career, playing the game in such hot spots as Yakima, Washington. At each stop across five countries, he reflects on the peculiar basketball ambience of these not-always-sports-savvy locales, and he offers insight into his own sometimes eccentric but always self-aware state of mind as well as the befuddling behavior of his fellow travelers. His triumphs are relatively few but exhilarating, his disappointments frequent and potentially devastating, but he perseveres through humor and the cathartic exercise of writing about his experiences. Shirley's blog, from which much of this book is derived, is well known among hoop junkies, but this print incarnation should reach a much larger audience. Displaying deep reverence for the game and remarkable insight into those who make it their vocation, it's destined to become a classic of sports literature. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Paul Shirley has played for eleven professional basketball teams in the six years since he graduated from Iowa State University, where he was an engineering major and an academic All-American. While with the Phoenix Suns in 2005, he blogged about his experiences with the team on NBA.com. When not trying to catch on with yet another pro club, Shirley authors a column for ESPN.com called “My So-Called Career,” and he has even co-written and produced a television pilot based on his life in basketball.