Fav Basketball Books on Torg Stories Pod

What are your favorite books

about basketball?

The Jordan Rules Sam Smith Pat Conroy Rick Pitino Wooden Sprawlball A Season on the Brink

Torg Fav Basketball Books

Kent Chezem and I list and discuss our favorite hoops books in this episode of the Torg Stories Podcast, March 8, 2020 edition.

In preparing for this pod, I realized that I have read a lot more basketball books than I previously thought, probably at least 100.

I came up with nineteen books I thought were worth mentioning.

First, a commercial. My book, The Coach’s Wife has a lot of basketball in it and is on sale via Amazon for less than ten bucks.

  1. Season on the Brink by John Feinstein. 1986.
  2. The Losing Season by Pat Conroy
  3. Born to Coach by Rick Pitino 
  4. The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith
  5. Sprawlball by Kirk Goldsberry
  6. Wooden, A Coach’s Life by Seth Davis
  7. The 21st Century Basketball Practice by Brian McCormick
  8. Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem  (I met Kareem in the St. John’s locker room at Madison Square Garden)  AND Becoming Kareem by Obstfeld 
  9. When the Game was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson with Jackie MacMullan (appears on ESPN’s show Around the Horn)
  10. The Legends Club by Feinstein
  11. The Last Amateurs by Feinstein
  12. My Life on a Napkin by Rick Majerus
  13. Sum it Up by Sally Jenkins 
  14. The Last Seasonby Phil Jackson
  15. I just bought Seven Seconds or Less about the Suns by Jack McCallum. 
  16. Lebron INCby Brian Windhorst. He also wrote Return of the King. 
  17. Showtime by Jeff Pearlman
  18. Basketball, A Love Story. 
  19. The Book of Basketballby Bill Simmons

In doing this work, here are the books I’m going to look into reading: 

  1. Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection
  2. Assisted by John Stockton
  3. How Lucky Can You Be (Meyer) by Buster Olney
  4. Bleed Orange about Boheim
  5. The Pistol 
  6. Fab Five 
  7. Boys Among Men by Abrams 
  8. Seven Seconds or Less Jack MaCullum 
  9. Basketball on Paper Dean Oliver 
  10. A Coach’s Life by Dean Smith with John Kilgo and Sally Jenkins

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Which of my favs overlaps with yours?
  2. How did you rank these books?
  3. What do we get out of reading these books?
  4. What are these books about that we can talk about? Three point line. 21st Century Basketball. How would we describe our college basketball practices? How have we departed?
  5. Which of these coaches have we met? How at all, have these books or the coaches influenced us?
  6. I mostly left out technical X and O books like these:
  • Knight and Newell’s pair of books, Tex Winter’s Triangle Offense, Wooten’s Coaching Basketball Successfully, Dean Smith’s Multiple Offenses and Defenses, Tim Grover’s Jump Attack

I counted 42 books on Amazon written by John Feinstein:

  • The Back Roads to March, Where Nobody Knows Your Name (baseball), The First Major, A Good Walk Spoiled, The Legends Club, Season on the Brink, Quarterback, The Last Amateurs, A Season Inside, The Last Dance, The Punch (about the Rockets), Forever’s Team about Duke 78, A March to Madness about ACC

What are your favorites? Which ones are we wrong about? We hope you’ll join the conversation!

 

 

 

Torg Stories Podcast: Coaching Your Kids

Kent Chezem on the Torg Stories Podcast March 12th, 2020 Edition

In the midst of all this coronavirus news, I’m joined by my friend Kent Chezem. With stops including Clinton Prairie, Covington, and Loogootee, Kent has spent 25 years as a head boys basketball coach in the state of Indiana. His teams have won over 300 games and four sectional titles. Kent and I were teammates at Olivet Nazarene University where he is the all time leader in assists.

kent, dara cade

Kent Chezem, his son Cade, and his wife Dara

Kent was named the District 2 Coach of the Year by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association in 2014. Kent’s wife Dara became the Superintendent of Schools in the district where I went to high school, Eastern Pulaski Schools in Winamac.

This edition of Torg Stories is a basketball-centric podcast. We spend a fair amount of time talking about issues related to coaching our kids.

The Torg Stories podcast is also available on iTunes.

Hope you enjoy!

Torg Stories Podcast with owners of the Grail Moviehouse

In this week’s episode, I talk with the owners of a new theater in Asheville: The Grail Moviehouse. More on our collaboration here. It’s in an old warehouse that has been fixed up. There’s cozy chairs, beer from local breweries, and some stadium style seats in the back. It’s a great place to watch old movies on the big screen and see some new stuff you can’t find at the theater chains.

Before we get into the conversation, time to pay the bills. This week’s sponsor is called Seat Block. You know how when you’re on an airplane and the person in front of you jams their seat back into your knees…

No, I’m just kidding. One of the great things about the Torg Stories podcast at this point is that you don’t have to listen to me read any ads. But, you can still help us out. Go to iTunes, find the Torg Stories podcast and click on reviews. We don’t have ten reviews yet, but when we do, they will start showing up and help other people find the pod. If you have friends who are podcast listeners, send them a link to Torg Stories. Please.

This week, my family and I went to see Roger Ross William’s new documentary, Life Animated. It’s about an autistic man. His life story and how his family was finally able to connect with him through Disney films. Cool family. Dad is a writer. Protagonist is funny and touching. The film was a teeny bit on the intense side for my eight year old, but our ten year old really liked it. Movie for grown ups that can appeal to kids, probably ten and older. Also interesting as a teacher for thinking about working with autistic children.

Several ways to hear the podcast:

  • If you have an iPhone, click on the podcast app and search for “Torg Stories.” It’s a great way to listen; plus, you could review our podcast there and become a subscriber.
  • You can listen to the podcast below by clicking on the player.
  • The iTunes link is here.
  • Keep reading below for more info…
Grail Moviehouse, Asheville, Things to do, Torg Stories, podcast, film, movies, French Broad River Movie

August 1, 2016 Edition

The theater is just South of downtown on French Broad Avenue. Quite a bit of free parking, which is amazing, for Asheville. It’s become my go to spot for parking when I go to downtown Asheville.

Please consider liking, commenting, or sharing this post. Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

Owning Your Own Business: Writing and Social Media

Torg Stories Podcast / Recorded on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

Today’s episode is with entrepreneur and business owner Georg Efird. George is my plumber, and I’ve been impressed with his savvy use of social media in order to grow his business, Blue Planet Plumbing in Asheville, North Carolina.

small business, social media marketing, writing, composition, First Year Writing, William Torgerson

Georg and Miranda, owners of Blue Planet Plumbing

My primary interest in Georg’s work is related to the First Year Writing courses I teach at St. John’s University. Because students HAVE to take my course, I’m always trying to make sure what we do in class is relevant to the lives the students live outside of class. This means much of the writing we do is in digital spaces, and I’m always on the lookout for people outside the university who do a lot of writing so I can use their work as examples for the students.

Most impressive to me about Georg’s online accomplishments are the 215 reviews–he calls this customer feedback–posted on Google with an average rating of 5/5. Georg is obviously a savvy negotiator of digital spaces and does the kind of multimodal writing that makes use of images, links, color, and pictures.

small business, Asheville, Blue Planet Plumbing, Asheville

Georg on the job for Blue Planet

When Georg was seventeen years old, he had his first child and found himself working at a fast food restaurant trying to support a family when a friend invited him to tag along to an interview to be a plumber’s apprentice. Georg’s friend coached him up to say the following during the interview:

I have zero experience, but I am a hard worker, and I am reliable.

The advice worked and Georg was hired as a plumber’s apprentice.

 

Blue Planet Plumbing, Asheville, small business, social media marketing

 

Pro tip from Georg’s first days as a plumber:  a 1978 LTD won’t support 1,800 pounds of concrete.

Thanks to Georg for joining us on the Torg Stories podcast.

Thanks to you for visiting the website and listening to the podcast!

 

 

Free Audiobook: The Coach’s Wife

“In his novel The Coach’s Wife, William Torgerson has written one of the best books about basketball and coaching I’ve ever read. He’s also written a love story so complicated and wonderful it will have book clubs talking about it for many years.”

Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and The Death of the Great Santini

The audio version of The Coach’s Wife will be released in installments through the Torg Stories podcast.

Click here for the iTunes version and here for Stitcher.

Indiana, North Carolina, basketball, novel, coaching, coach's wife, Pat Conroy, My Losing Season

AmazonBarnes and Noble

First Chapter PDF, Torg Reads an Excerpt

In The Coach’s Wife, I draw on my experiences coaching high school basketball in Indiana and the end of several romantic relationships. The story is set in a fictionalized version of my hometown of Winamac, Indiana. Although the story stands on its own, it can also be read as a sequel to Love on the Big Screen.

Here are some endorsements written by writers I admire who were generous enough to take their time to read the manuscript:

  • “Torgerson has crafted an engaging and realistic portrait of Coach Eric Zaucha. The Coach’s Wife reveals one man’s quest for success on the Indiana basketball court, and for love, with admirable detail and insight.” -Allen Gee, author of My Chinese America 
  • “Meet Zuke, basketball coach, romantic, and narrator of this haunting, fast-paced novel, a tale of love and loss and acceptance, and all that we must learn when the party of college is over.” Peter Golden, author of Comeback Love
  • “You couldn’t ask for a more irresistible premise and Torgerson stirs it up with a backdrop including O.J. Simpson, Kurt Cobain, and Lady Di. A treacherous and hilarious journey through the human heart that beats with hope on every page.” –Caroline Leavitt 

If you’ve read the book, love to hear from you in the comment section. If you have friends who might be interested in the book, I’d appreciate it if you would pass along this link to them. Thank you for taking the time to read this page and keeping the conversation surrounding books alive!