The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama

The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama

by Alexander Wolff
The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama

The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama

by Alexander Wolff


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While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did. In The Audacity of Hoop, celebrated sportswriter Alexander Wolff examines Barack Obama, the person and president, by the light of basketball. This game helped Obama explore his identity, keep a cool head, impress his future wife, and define himself as a candidate. 

Wolff chronicles Obama’s love of the game from age 10, on the campaign trail—where it eventually took on talismanic meaning—and throughout his two terms in office. More than 125 photographs illustrate Obama dribbling, shooting free throws, playing pickup games, cooling off with George Clooney, challenging his special assistant Reggie Love for a rebound, and taking basketball to political meetings. There is also an assessment of Obama’s influence on the NBA, including a dawning political consciousness in the league’s locker rooms. 

Sidebars reveal the evolution of the president’s playing style, “Baracketology”—a not-entirely-scientific art of filling out the commander in chief’s NCAA tournament bracket—and a timeline charts Obama’s personal and professional highlights.

Equal parts biographical sketch, political narrative, and cultural history, The Audacity of Hoop shows how the game became a touchstone in Obama’s exercise of the power of the presidency.  


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439913093
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 11/13/2015
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alexander Wolff is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and the New York Times author of Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure.

Table of Contents

1 Basketball Jones

2 Hoop Dreams from His Father

  Gaming the President Out

  The First Brother-in-Law

3 Running Game

  “The Little Brother I Never Had”

  Obama, One-on-One

  Players’ Choice

4 Power, Forward


  Hardwood Cabinet

  The Secretary of Schoolin’ People 

  Center Circles 

  Lip Service 

  Ding-Dong Diplomacy 

  The World’s Most Elegant Locker Room 

  The Loyal Opposition 

  The Inevitability of Golf

5 The Game in the Age of Obama

  Shooting the First Shooter




Selected Bibliography


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