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Venus to the Hoop: A Gold Medal Year in Women's Basketball [Kindle Edition]

Sara Corbett
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.01 (29%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition $9.99  
Library Binding $23.00  
Paperback $11.86  
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Book Description

In the spring of 1995, twelve extraordinary basketball players were chosen to represent the United States in the year-long march to the 1996 Olympics. For Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, and their teammates, winning the gold medal was only one of many goals. Around them swirled the dreams of the millions of young girls who played organized basketball, the hopes of the fans who sent the team an average of 125 pounds of fan mail each month, the multimillion-dollar bets of Nike, Champion, and other corporate sponsors, the promise of a new women's professional league, and not least, the hopes of female athletes across the country to gain the respect accorded male athletes.

These women upon whom so much pressure rested included a runway model (who also happened to be one of the few women players able to dunk), a forward who barely survived a car accident that left her in coma, a collegiate sensation struggling to live up to her rep and her huge marketing contract from Reebok, a superstar known as "the female Michael Jordan," and a controversial, unrelenting coach. Nine of the women were black; three were white. Some were married, some single; some outspoken, some painfully shy. Some were rivals, some fast friends. How they came together, both on and off the court, is the subject of this wonderful celebration of the female athlete.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

One of the truly inspiring sagas of the 1996 Olympics was the dominating performance of America's other Dream Team, the women's hoopsters. Led by charismatic coach Tara VanDerveer--she drove her players hard, but no harder than she drove herself--a group of 12 divergent personalities turned into an immensely appealing and cohesive unit. Between its formation and the Olympics, the team won all 51 games it played, then drove through the competition in Atlanta to win the gold medal. They also garnered some powerful intangibles--recognition, respect, and the affection of the fans--that continue to remain more elusive to women's squads than men's. Journalist Sara Corbett was given exclusive access to the team for the duration. Her vivid narrative resonates with the tension and drama of competition in the spotlight, and nicely captures the pressures the team had to shoulder in its media-hyped role.


In Venus to the Hoops, Sara Corbett recounts the blossoming of this [the U.S. 1996 women's Olympic basketball] team and also chronicles the development of the two rival professional leagues for women.... Corbett does a superb job capturing the emotions and intensity of the players. -- The New York Times Book Review,

Product Details

  • File Size: 1164 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (April 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,245 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read February 12, 1999
My two daughters are junior high basketball players, and I picked up this book on a whim at a bookstore recently. I was gripped from page one and couldn't put it down after that. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to CALL Sara while I was reading this and tell her, "This is a great book!" But I trust other people have done that. You really get a sense of what being on that team was like, and I enjoyed this book immensely. It's on my list of all-time favorite sports books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Venus to the Hoop May 24, 2001
A Kid's Review
Venus to the Hoop is a motivation to every kind of athlete. If you have ever played basketball you may be able to understand the situations these women athletes were put in. The detailed descriptions of the players and their coaches and staff allows you to understand the atmosphere they had to play basketball in. If you want to read a good book and also get some posative thinking out of it, read Venus to the Hoop. This book has really helped me keep a positive attitude about sports, teammates and life. I loved the way the competitors from the past pulled together and played as one on the same team. The way they helped eachother out in games and off the court helped me realize that they loved playing basketball. Keeping a positive attitude is important to me, and this book made me look at my life more positively.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of Women's Basketball! Outstanding! July 3, 1999
Sara Corbett, who wrote this book, had the opportunity of traveling with the winning U.S. Women's Basketball Olympic team from their early tryouts in April 1995 to their glorious gold medal in Atlanta in 1996. She was there when they for the very beginnings and the selection process; she was there for their rigorous training under their coach, Tara Vanderveer; she was there during meals and long boring flights.
Through a series of in-depth interviews, as well as 14 months of personal
observation, she has written the book that defines the major milestone in women's basketball gaining the public's awareness and acceptance. Each of the 12 women on the team as well as their coach are skillfully profiled, and their stories credit, Ms. Corbett, kept the focus on the game. She lets the player's hopes and dreams and divergent personalities emerge through the sport. Of course we get their backgrounds too. We see Sheryl Swoops and her adoring husband, we see the explosive personality of Dawn Staley who likes to make side wagers on everything; we see Rebecca Lobo having trouble keeping up with the training; and Lisa Leslie's love for dressing up. But most of all, we see them play basketball.
In 1995, there wasn't even a basketball league for women. But during the time of their training for the Olympics, the possibility of two different leagues emerged -- the WNBA and the ABL. This was the major source of conflict between the members on the team during the course of the year. They had to put their disagreements aside though, and play basketball.
And that they did. They played and played and played, wining every single one of the games they played during that year. The women's college teams were easy, but they struggled with the team from China and the team from Australia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awsome book for the avaid basketball fan! January 27, 1999
By A Customer
This book has become one of my favorites. Telling the story of the 12 women who made up the 1996 gold medal team, Corbett went in-depth which each player. The book created a personal veiw of what the team went through. From a 30 year old vetren, to a 20 year old not yet graduated, you are able to get a real sense of each player!
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