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To the Hoop

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About the Author

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.


A noted sports editor once observed that every sportswriter is a jock manqué; that particular sneaker fits perfectly New York Times columnist Berkow (Red). A high school and college basketball player, he's continued as a cager throughout life, mostly in pick-up games‘until now, when at age 56, he writes about the court adventures that made him refuse to retire to the locker room. He's met all the greats, from George Mikan to Oscar Robertson to Michael Jordan, and has even played ball with some of them, acquitting himself respectably, he says. Here he offers a number of entertaining anecdotes about those encounters: an amusing sidelight is his cajoling former New York governor Mario Cuomo into setting up a one-on-one basketball contest. The appeal to Berkow readers will be strong, as it will to middle-agers who still play the games of their youth. Deeply moving, although extraneous, is the author's account of his brother's illness and death from cancer. $35,000 ad/promo; author tour. (May)

A wonderful book-not just for basketball fans but for everyone. -- Earvin "Magic" Johnson An extraordinary look into the art of pickup basketball. Who would have guessed that, along with his writing talents, Ira knows how to play the game! -- Bill Bradley Ira Berkow is one of the best sportswriters around, so it is no surprise that his basketball odyssey is one of the best sports books of this or any other year. -- George Plimpton A fine book by a fine writer and a wise man. -- Wes Lukowsky * Booklist * One of the best sport books to appear in many years...filled with humor, humanity...thoroughly readable....Highly recommended. * CHOICE * Berkow has a rare understanding of the subtle protocols of pickup basketball. -- Charley Rosen * The New York Times *

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