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Paddy on the Hardwood: A Journey in Irish Hoops Paperback – January 23, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Ashwins Pubns; Reprint edition (January 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082634027X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826340276
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... a compelling account [with] a cast of characters that leap with life from the pages.... [Paddy on the Hardwood], its stories and the lessons therein are a treasure." - The Sunday Times (London) "If this hidden gem of a book is really about Bradburd finding solace in his music, its real joy is in the characters he meets along the way." - Boston Globe "... an incredibly fun read.... I totally recommend it." - Henry Abbott, TrueHoop.com "[Paddy on the Hardwood] is absolutely fantastic with colorful characters, warm humor, great scenes, real drama, and a rich, personal touch.... this book is a treat." - Dan Wetzel, author of Glory Road "Delightful. Paddy on the Hardwood was the best book I read in 2006." - Chicago Tribune"

From the Inside Flap

A burned out basketball coach takes a job in Ireland and is surprised by what he finds.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It gives you detailed info.
Donald L. Lyons
It's refreshing to hear from a coach who is passionate about music and literature, and finds a way to fit them into his daily challenges as a leader and teacher.
Eric Angevine
Overall I would recommend to all to read., Not just basketball.
Douglas N. Grbowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C.L. Spencer on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
All good writers have a story to tell. Rus Bradburd does just that and brings you with him on this journey to Ireland. It is here that a universal story unfolds as you meet the people of Tralee, and where Bradburd has come to a crossroads in his own life: career, music, writing and a special romance.

Paddy's magic and mystery is in its subtle revelation that this story belongs to us all.

The author makes you feel his every frustration as he struggles to build a winning basketball team in the Irish Super League. And, how that daily grind seems to interfere with his other purposes for coming to Ireland: his music and writing.

But, you will also experience the camaraderie of the pubs and traditional Irish music as Bradburd ventures beyond his world of career and into the lives of Tralee's people.

There are many stories here. In the end, you will come to know them. And perhaps, we might come to discover ourselves again.

C.L. Spencer

Miami, Oklahoma
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Allyn West on August 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book is an engaging, compelling, highly readable account full of the sights and sounds of Tralee, Ireland. Bradburd decides to leave his well-paying jobs as a college basketball coach in the U.S., for the relative obscurity and monetary scraps as a head coach in the Irish Super League.

The idea is -- as a coach in a league where the practice gyms are rented by the hour, the newspapers fail to mention even the most dramatic victories, and the best Irish-born players would rather sit the bench as brawny cheerleaders at Gaelic football matches -- he will find time to write and master his fiddle, and after the season, would be able to leave basketball behind.

For basketball fans, the book is an insightful exploration of one of the poorest professional leagues in the world, as well as a series of portraits of the players Bradburd comes to bench, fire, start, and, in some ways, rely on.

For music fans, we witness a short history of traditional Irish "tunes," and learn how tunes grow and change as they move from place to place. We also get to sit in on his sessions in the dark corners of Irish pubs, where the tables and bellies are full of pints of Guiness. And Bradburd writes so well we can hear the technical mastery of his friends and mentors, see their hands moving effortlessly over the instruments.

The story is one of transformation -- a certain kind of entrainment, as Bradburd discovers -- across the book, as he passes through the trials of coaching, and comes to find musical kindred spirits, and a personal one, too; even his prose seems to transform, from the sharp tones as he starts his journey, into a calm, more poetic voice as he finds -- most, if not all -- of what he went to look for in Tralee, Ireland.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. White on October 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rus Bradburd's "Paddy on the Hardwood: A Journey in Irish Hoops" is a highly enjoyable book on many levels. Bradburd's story revolves around his love for basketball and traditional Irish music. In Ireland, not everyone (in fact, almost no one!) shares his passion for basketball; Bradburd's struggle for respect for his team, and his sport, are part of the journey. In contrast, Bradburd's efforts to learn and to master traditional Irish music is a challenge which arises within himself, and the best part of the journey may be his success in dealing with that challenge. This is a book which transcends its subject matter, one which you can (and will) appreciate whether or not you know (or care) anything at all about basketball or Irish fiddles. It's a well-crafted and well-written book, and a great read. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Angevine on April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If I asked you who won the Irish Super League Championship last year, the proper answer would be "who cares?" We would also accept "The Irish Super WHAT?!?"

Very few people care which team wins the league crown in Ireland's professional league, including the Irish themselves. But since I read Rus Bradburd's Paddy on the Hardwood, I find that I suddenly do care. That is Coach Bradburd's shining achievement in recounting his two years on the Emerald Isle, coaching a mish-mash of unschooled locals and underachieving Americans. He gets the reader to care about the team simply by telling their story honestly - never telling us how to feel.

How does this relate to a college basketball website? For starters, Bradburd was an assistant coach who understudied some of the greatest basketball minds of a generation. He began under Don Haskins at UTEP, where he was lead recruiter of the legendary Tim Hardaway. When he was dismissed from that job due to a relatively minor infraction (again, this is recounted with amazing veracity; "I was guilty" the author flatly states), he joined the staff of Lou Henson at New Mexico State. Growing weary of the recruiting grind, and harboring a very un-coach-like desire to write for a living, Bradburd quit college hoops and completed his MFA in Las Cruces.

The book begins there, as the former college assistant tries to figure out how to get a job that will allow him to spend time writing and practicing his other love - playing the fiddle. A friend tells him about the Tralee Tigers, an Irish team seeking an American presence on the bench. Drawn by the literary and musical traditions of the island, he takes the job, figuring it will take little personal involvement and leave him plenty of time for his other pursuits.
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