The Origins of the Jump Shot


The Origins of the Jump Shot

Eight Men Who Shook the World of Basketball

John Christgau

234 pages


March 1999


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Before the jump shot, basketball was an earth-bound game. In fact, inventor James Naismith did not originally intend for players to move with the ball. The inspired invention of the dribble first put the ball handler in motion. The jump shot then took the action upward. But where, when, and how did the jump shot originate?
Everybody interested in basketball knows the answer to that question. Unfortunately, everybody knows a different answer. John Christgau delves into basketball’s evolution, following the supposed inventors of the jump shot to the games in which they first took to the air. He discovers that a number of pioneer players, independently but from the same inspired possibility, can each claim credit for inventing the jump shot.

Author Bio

John Christgau (1934–2018) is the author of several books including Spoon, winner of the Society of Midland Authors Best Fiction Award. He played basketball for three years at San Francisco State University and was named to the All-Conference team twice.


"The wheel, the printing press, the light bulb, the airplane, the space ship, the jump shot—the progress of man can be measured by leaps into the void. This fascinating look at the athletes who changed basketball by jumping into the air and creating, when such a thing was taboo, is about sport and competition, but most of all it is about what Christgau describes as ‘the spirit of originality.’ I couldn’t put it down."—Rick Telander

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