KG, Kobe, LeBron—some of the greatest basketball players were part of the ‘prep-to-pro’ generation, when the NBA permitted high school seniors to be drafted without having to play collegiate ball. While these superstars and the many other successful prep-to-pro players exemplify the benefits of such a system, the failed careers of prep legends like Lenny Cooke offer more cautionary tales. By telling the stories of both the successes and the busts, Abrams manages to make a compelling case for once again allowing players to enter the NBA from high school, with the caveat that more safeguards are needed to ensure only the players who are both physically and emotionally ready make the jump.
Philosopher Damon Young explores how physical exertion shapes the body and mind in How to Think About Exercise. Short essays posit how pushing our bodies can create integrity, resilience, consistency and humility, and how these qualities bring value into our lives and into our conceptions of self. Ben Franklin swam, Abraham Lincoln wrestled, Alan Turing ran long distances, and you could benefit from a trip to the gym. You'll think better, and bigger. Or open this book to the introduction and meet Chad. That takes no effort.
(This book cannot be returned.)
Long-distance swimming has never enjoyed the cultural cachet of the more lucrative or national-identity-building sports like soccer and baseball, but through the heroism and tenacity—and deeply attuned teamwork—that defines her sport, the now-legendary world champion athlete Diana Nyad has found her way, after four decades and countless painful wounds from ocean salt, skin chafing, sunburn, and jellyfish stings (a more consistent threat than shark bites) into the cultural awareness and worldwide admiration that she has so richly earned. Not that fame was ever her motive: far from it. As Nyad states in her new memoir, “The opportunity to inspire is a privilege.” Although Find a Way (Knopf, $26.95) will surely become a classic in sports literature—its stunning full-color plates documenting the stages of her historic 2013 swim from Havana to Key West at age 63 are as affecting as the prose—it is also a moving testament to the finest qualities of the human spirit.