Cover image for Black hoops : The history of African-Americans in basketball
Black hoops : The history of African-Americans in basketball
McKissack, Fredrick.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
154 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Surveys the history of African Americans in basketball, from the beginning of the sport to the present, discussing individual teams and players and the integration of the National Basketball Association.
Reading Level:
1190 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.2 5.0 54792.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.7 8 Quiz: 18725 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV883 .M316 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV883 .M316 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



This exciting, well-researched book explores the evolution of basketball with a focus on the black athletes and history-making teams that have shaped the game every step of the way -- from its humble beginnings in 1891 to the superstar sport it is today.

Author Notes

Frederick L. McKissack was born on August 12, 1939, in Nashville, Tennessee. He received a degree in civil engineering from Tennessee State University. He was a civil engineer and a construction worker before he and his wife decided to become full-time writers. Since the 1980's, he and his wife Patricia C. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans, included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award for Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the 1998 Virginia Hamilton Award for making a contribution to the field of multicultural literature for children and adolescents, as well as the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. He died of congestive heart failure on April 28, 2013 at the age of 73.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. McKissack's history of basketball joins a growing list of young adult titles tracing African American involvement in sports, including his earlier Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Leagues (1994), coauthored by Patricia McKissack. Here he provides a concise but lively account of basketball from its earliest days to the present, not only documenting great African American players and teams but also placing the development of the sport in a social and historic context that allows readers an understanding of the times not usually a part of sports histories. As he reports the changes in rules and styles of play that have made the game even more appealing to fans, he notes the controversies--from early championships that pitted paid professionals against amateur school teams despite conference regulations to the much-delayed desegregation of college and professional teams. The final chapter presents an overview of African American women's participation in basketball. Although source notes are not provided, works by authors mentioned in the text are included in the bibliography. Black-and-white photographs; glossary of basketball terms. --Chris Sherman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-This historical overview of African-American participation in basketball may initially disappoint readers hoping for coverage of the game's recent past. Those with a serious interest in black history, however, will find much of value in this examination of the struggle to achieve equality of opportunity in the sport. In an era in which black dominance of professional basketball is taken for granted, it may come as a shock to some that for the better part of this century, African Americans have faced severe restrictions in their attempts to compete on an equal basis with whites. McKissack points out that as recently as the 1970s, the owners of the Dallas team of the ABA dropped players for fear that white fans would not support a predominately black team. Of particular note is the skillful manner in which the sport is continually placed within its historical context. Coverage of the legendary Harlem Rens is especially outstanding in this regard. Full chapters are devoted both to the Rens and to the Harlem Globetrotters. McKissack does not shy away from controversy, noting that some black commentators have found the antics of the Globetrotters to be demeaning. He is also candid about how difficult life was for the early barnstorming teams, as they were often denied accommodations and forced to deal with racial taunts from the opposing players and fans. This book makes a unique and important contribution for this age range and should not be missed.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.