To The Hoop: The Seasons Of A Basketball Life by Ira Berkow
Ira Berkow is known to sports fans as a master of the sports page, but his readers may be surprised to learn that he regularly plays pickup basketball on the public courts of New York City against opponents sometimes less than half his age. He's now 56 years old, but he still plays the game with the vigor and competitive fire of his days as a high school and college player in Chicago, and he maintains this link to his youth as a sign that he is not yet ready to pack it all in. To the Hoop tells the story of a year in his basketball life, as he resolves to elevate his game to a higher level and stave off the ravages of time. Along the way, he seeks to reconnect with other men, resolve some deeply felt personal conflicts, and share the lessons gleaned over a half century of hoops.
In addition to spinning his own humorous and touching tales of success and failure on and off the court, Berkow also introduces us to some of the legendary players and coaches he has known, and their wisdom adds a special depth to the narrative. These include old-timers like Red Holzman and George Mikan, heroes of the 1960s and 1970s like Oscar Robertson and Walt Frazier and present-day superstars like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Berkow even takes the court against some of them, with surprising results.
In the tradition of Howard Rainess bestseller, Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis,To the Hoop speaks to men of all generations men to whom sports mean so much more than just the final score, and Berkow shows through his own example that all of us can aspire to fulfill our own personal hoop dreams.
Pulitzer prize-winning author Ira Berkow has written sports and occasional features for the New York Times for more than twenty years. Among his other books are The Minority Quarterback, Hank Greenberg, and Red: A Biography of Red Smith. He lives on Manhattan's East Side.