Why She Plays


Why She Plays

The World of Women's Basketball

Christine A. Baker
Foreword by Becky Hammon

216 pages
2 tables


December 2008


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2008


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Why does she play basketball? Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, that question has come to be asked of more girls and women—and answered in more ways—than ever before. Christine A. Baker, herself an avid player and an assistant coach, pursues an answer through the ranks of the sport from youth basketball to the WNBA.
Baker sets the stage with a quick look at current statistics and trends in women’s basketball nationwide, noting the profound changes in the last thirty-five years. A series of exclusive interviews then takes us into the heart and soul of the sport. Her subjects are players and coaches, from neophytes to stars such as Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman; from legendary coaches such as Jody Conradt to the masterminds of USA Basketball and the 1996 Women’s Dream Team; from Donna Lopiano, former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, to tomorrow’s Olympic athletes. A richly detailed, all-encompassing portrait of the sport, these interviews offer a wealth of insight into the game, American sports culture, and, indeed, why Baker plays.

Author Bio

Christine A. Baker is a writer for the Web site Full Court Press. She is also an assistant varsity coach, copywriter, and graphic designer. Becky Hammon, one of the most recognizable players in the WNBA today, is a WNBA All-Star and player with the San Antonio Silver Stars.


“Christine Baker combines two rare traits: a true passion for the game of basketball, tattooed into her soul at an early age; and the ability to describe that passion with the gritty feel of the ball on a sweaty palm and the confident assurance of a born writer.”—Clay Kallam, publisher of Full Court Press and managing editor of Women’s Basketball

Table of Contents



Introduction: Why She Plays

Part 1. Youth Basketball

1. Heck Yeah, I'm a Tomboy!

2. The Fun Factor

Part 2. High-School Basketball

3. You Can't Measure Heart

4. The Crème of the Crop

Part 3. College Basketball

5. Three Divisions, One Association

6. Conradt, Goestenkors, and the Pursuit of Perfection

7. The Approach of a Coach

8. A Dance Is Still a Dance

Part 4. The <SC>wnba</SC>

9. Over Ten Years and Going Strong in the <SC>wnba</SC>

10. The Superstars and the "Special" Treatment

Part 5. USA Basketball

11. The United States versus the Rest of the World

12. The Best in the World

Part 6. Media Coverage and Women's Basketball

13. The Slippery Slope of Gender Politics

14. Unique but Alike

15. Her Place of Peace

Epilogue: Building the Perfect Player

Appendix A: High School Participation by State

Appendix B: The Structure of USA Basketball


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