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How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer Hardcover – November 9, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Those of us who savor fine sports journalism have long known that Buster Olney knows the baseball beat. Now, with this beautifully conceived and elegantly written executed book Olney shows that he knows the beating heart of life and the pulse of humanity that makes sports matter." -George F. Will, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist

"Don Meyer is a dear friend to me and the entire Basketball Community. His passion to teach, to share, and to live is unmatched. Buster Olney does a magical job of capturing this truly unique man and presents him in a way that is surprising and unforgettable." -Mike Krzyzewski, Coach of the Duke Blue Devils

"There are very few coaches who have positively impacted the game of basketball and the people who coach it as Don Meyer has done. His passion for the game, for teaching and for building character as well as his commitment to team are legendary. Coach Meyer has taught and given so much to us, and our game is better for it. This book chronicles not only his life as a coach, but his journey as a man through triumph and adversity. His story is a true inspiration and one which everyone should know." -Pat Summitt, Coach of the Tennesee Lady Vols

About the Author

Robert “Buster” Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine and an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034552411X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345524119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While we were in Minneapolis for our little girl's cancer treatments a couple yrs ago, we had the "chance" privelege of meeting Coach Meyer & his beautiful wife Carmen. Although it was a very brief encounter, Don leaves such a positive impression on people. We have kept in touch with him through letters & e-mails. Less than 2 wks ago, we received a wonderful care package from him. He is a remarkable man who gives true meaning to the terms "wounded healer" and "prayer warrior!" We have been blessed to have him come into our lives & rally behind us with our fight with childhood cancer! (Our little girl, Cedar, is kicking cancer's butt too!!!) Unlimited blessings to Coach Meyer & his family. This book is SOOOOOO WELL WRITTEN! Kudos to Mr. Olney on telling Don's miraculous story so well. It captures your attention from the first page & is hard to put down! I love this book and am gifting several copies this year for Christmas. Our love & prayers continue to be lifted up to Don, Carmen & their entire family ~ thank you for blessing us!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael DENNISUK VINE VOICE on December 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the type of story that needs to be told, read, and shared. This book is so much more than a sports book. It is the story of basketball coach Don Meyer. Meyer was travelling to team camp when fell asleep at the wheel and veered into the path of a semi while his team (in traling cars) watched in horror. Meyer barely survived the accident only to find out he had terminal cancer. It is where the story begins. This is an incredible story of one man's journey, the values he preached and the lives he has touched. There were many passages in which I needed to wipe the tears from my eyes before I could continue reading. This is not as much a book about basketball as it is a book about life. Buster Onley is primarily a baseball writer for ESPN. He does an incredible job with this story. His writing is superb and on par with the very best. It should be read by everyone. Clearly one of the BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By OH Packerfan on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up on a lark, not knowing anything about Don Meyer or what the story would be about. I was familiar w Olney only as a talking head for ESPN. I was immediately struck by the writing. Olney writes with a simple, direct style that is part journalistic reporting, part storyteller, with an efficiency of words. Brilliantly organized. While the book follows a somewhat chronological fashion, each chapter focuses on one particular aspect of Coach Meyer's life, or one key person in that life, so that at the end we have a fully illustrated mural depicting the rich fullness of this interesting man's life.
And what of that man? Olney presents him with all his warts. A hard, tough nut, without the time or interest to engage in social pleasantries. Driven. Demanding. Exasperating. And yet so much more. Moreover, as he deals with a tragic accident, he himself is forced to take time, and appreciates how much he has meant to so many people, so many lives he was able to touch in a lifetime of coaching, of teaching lessons that apparently went far beyond basketball. I loved all of the life lessons that Meyer shared with his players, who were required to take copious notes. There are tragedies and triumphs, joys and sorrows. There is humor, and sadness. In short, life happens.
You can read it in an evening or two, if you like, but I chose to take my time with it, to extend the pleasure of reading such a compelling story, so well written.
I will be on the lookout for further books by Buster Olney. Now I know why they refer to him as an award-winning journalist.
I am very glad I picked up this short, engaging book. I suspect you will be, too, if you choose to purchase.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Highdaddy on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book exceeded my expectations. I just bought a case and plan on handing them out at church this Sunday. This book has the potential to transform lives. I know it has caused me to think about what's truly important in life. Buster did a fantastic job telling Coach Meyer's story. He made it relevant to all of us - not just sports fans. My favorite part was when Coach talks about the "F" words getting him through - faith, family and friends. May God continue to bless and use Coach Meyer. Thank you Buster Olney for bringing this story to the people!
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, I have to admit that before reading this book I had never heard of Coach Don Meyer. Now that I have read it and had time to think about Meyer's life and what it teaches us, I will never forget him.

What author Buster Olney has done through HOW LUCKY YOU CAN BE is paint a portrait of more than just an individual who loved sports. Meyer loved life, and although it took some hardships to bring him closer to those who mattered most, it was something that was done with great appreciation and as a lesson for all of us.

I had the opportunity to interview Olney on the radio show Conversations LIVE, and to hear how he was changed by Meyer's life really shows the importance of books that are written about those involved in sports. Their lives are so much more than about the game. They are about the people involved, the relationships formed and the lessons that are learned along the way.

HOW LUCKY YOU CAN BE really highlights that in life nothing we do is ever about luck. It is about the oportunities you are given and how you react to them. That is true with Meyer who had to deal with challenges that few have known. The way he has dealt with them, however, provides lessons that people will be learning from for generations to come.

Kudos to Olney for taking us along this journey. We are all better off because of it.
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