One for the Record Books?

By Carol Hinz
Editorial Director, Millbrook Press

Did you hear about the college basketball player who made a game-winning 70-foot shot earlier this month? If you missed it, here’s it is (keep watching to see the replay):

Of course, this isn’t the longest shot ever made. For many years, the NBA record was a 79-foot shot made by Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics in 1954. Baron Davis of the Charlotte Hornets (now a player for the Los Angeles Clippers) made an 89-foot shot in 2001. And back in the very first season of the ABA, Jerry Harkness of the Indiana Pacers made an astonishing 92-foot shot at the buzzer with his team behind 118-116. The ABA had a three-point rule (which the NBA did not have at this time), and that extra point made all the difference for Harkness and the Pacers.

How do I know all of this? Am I some sort of basketball fanatic? Alas, I have to confess this is not the case. My secret is Swish: The Quest for Basketball’s Perfect Shot by Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy. Swish starts out with a short history of basketball and goes on to look at the key shots from set shots to layups to slam dunks, amazing game-winning shots, some of the game’s best scorers of all time, the weirdest and wildest shots, and it gives a concise list of men’s and women’s scoring records.

And if basketball is not your thing, don’t worry. Stewart and Kennedy have equally riveting books about baseball, football, and a brand-new soccer book, just in time to get you ready for the 2010 World Cup. Go, team, go!