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Hoops Nation: A Guide to America's Best Pickup Basketball Paperback – October 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Here's the drill: hit the road in a van; crisscross the country in search of pick-up basketball, wherever it's played with passion and verve; then write a lively and informative guide to the Hoops Nation that is America. That's what former college player Chris Ballard did. His guide judges the five best pick-up courts in the country, then continues on its full-court press to critique pick-up hoops games in every region. With descriptions of more than 700 gyms, parks, and schoolyards in all 50 states, this is the most comprehensive look at neighborhood basketball ever undertaken. The ratings system, complete with graphic symbols, covers such criteria as type of court (indoor or outdoor), level of competition, court quality, rough play, dangerous areas (only exceptional pick-up games in dangerous areas are included), and the regularity of female players. But this is so much more than a field guide. Ballard relates basketball lore and myth from all over the country, profiles pick-up legends, and, for rookies, covers tips on etiquette and basic play. Whether looking for a good game when out of town or just curious about hoops in other places, this fun and useful guide will put visions of jump shots in your head and get the adrenaline pumping. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

If your neighborhood court isn't one of the nearly 700 visited by Ballard, then it just may remain undiscovered. Ballard, a magazine writer and former college player, toured 48 states sampling pickup games and customs?from Houston's MacGregor Park to the Mitchell, South Dakota, "Corn Palace," where the local Kernels play. On their six-month basketball odyssey, Ballard and his traveling companions learned a lot of regional court lingo and style, much of it contained in their fine glossary. That the guide's favorite court is New York's fabled West Fourth Street comes as little surprise, but it seems the journey was worthwhile anyway. Recommended for high school libraries and anywhere basketball books are popular.?Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803262353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803262355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A must-buy for any basketball player. Hoops Nation does a great job of bringing out the local color of each court. Ballard brilliantly moves from stories about the players to comments on playgrounds, all the while expressing a true love for the game. The best part about this book is that the author doesnt romanticize his travels. He's just a guy who is looking for a good game, and his detachment succeeds in bringing out the unique flavor of each court he visits. BUY THIS BOOK!!!
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Format: Paperback
Chris Ballard should be lauded for his wonderfully concise and sophisticated written journey through America's hoops heartland. Chris successfully boiled down a subject of extreme complexity into a an easy to use reference guide that has something for everybody. Of special interest is Chris' reasoned analysis of the changing nature of the sport and his expertise on the issue of basketball as a cultural and societal gap bridging mechanism. Hoops Nation is a rare jewel of humor, anecdotal variety, and thorough research. I'm quite pleased to have discovered this literary treasure and can be assured of Jordanesque status on Christmas day when my friends and relatives receive their own paperbacks. Anyway I can get an autograph?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my dad -- an avid reader and retired high school basketball coach. He was not impressed.
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Format: Paperback
Here's the drill: hit the road in a van; crisscross the country in search of pick-up basketball,wherever it's played with passion and verve; then write a lively and informative guide to the Hoops Nation that is America. That's what former college player Chris Ballard did. His guide judges the five best pick-up courts in the country, then continues on its full-court press to critique pick-up hoops games in every region. With descriptions of more than 700 gyms, parks, and schoolyards in all 50 states, this is the most comprehensive look at neighborhood basketball ever undertaken. The ratings system, complete with graphic symbols, covers such criteria as type of court (indoor or outdoor), level of competition, court quality, rough play, dangerous areas (only exceptional pick-up games in dangerous areas are included), and the regularity of female players. But this is so much more than a field guide. Ballard relates basketball lore and myth from all over the country, profiles pick-up legends, and, for rookies, covers tips on etiquette and basic play. Whether looking for a good game when out of town or just curious about hoops in other places, this fun and useful guide will put visions of jump shots in your head and get the adrenaline pumping.
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By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Having been turned on to Ballard's witty and insightful prose through his frequent contributions to Maxim (check out his article on Russia!), Men's Health, and Point of View, I was ecstatic to finally sit down and read Hoops Nation. While the format does not allow the reader to fully appreciate Ballard's entire literary arsenal, it does nevertheless reveal his unmatched love for the game of round ball. I guarantee you will not be able to put this book down. Whether you find yourself frequently thumbing to the back for one more look at his devilishly handsome photo, or merely get caught up envisioning yourself as one of the road crew, you can be assured of the ride of your life.
Hoops Nation is not just for the basketball fan. As a reader with no previous interest in hoops, I can attest to its universal appeal. My ribs are still aching from laughter and I need to catch up on my sleep. I wait for the sequel with baited breath, now and forever a junkie of pick-up basketball and Chris Ballard!
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