BIG GAME, SMALL WORLD: A Basketball Adventure

Alexander Wolff, Author . Warner $24.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-446-52601-2

In his newest, Wolff (coauthor of Raw Recruits) sets off on his international tour of "the country of basketball"—16 different nations and eight states—with his thesis: "Basketball is quick-cutting, digital, and perfectly adapted to... manifestations of American cultural power." And fortunately for fans, he's also a stylish reporter (for Sports Illustrated). Basketball is now stepping on the heels of soccer as the world's game (Wolff claims that 71% of middle-class teenagers worldwide play or watch, including "two of every three girls on the planet." In the middle of a 1998 Princeton game, Wolff had an epiphany: he would become a roundball anthropologist. His first expedition was to explore professional basketball culture in Europe and to record indigenous versions in Japan, the Philippines, Bhutan and Brazil. He proves that the game's essence transcends national boundaries, and he turns up dozens of dedicated, delightful even tragic basketball stories and characters in what will seem unlikely places to an average Kansas State fan, for instance. He doesn't neglect U.S. homegrown teams, however, and includes familiar interviews in Chapel Hill, Kansas and Texas—but it is the new comparative basketball culture that excites his best writing. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 01/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 424 pages - 978-0-446-67989-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-56131-0
Ebook - 268 pages - 978-0-446-59902-3
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