A new book about women’s basketball history and culture publishes next week, and I’m here to tell you all about it!
Hoop Muses, written by Kate Fagan, curated by Seimone Augustus, and illustrated by Sophia Chang, releases March 7, 2023 in the United States.
The coffee table book covers the origins of the game, various semi- and fully-professional leagues, the overseas experience, college basketball, and even major pop culture and activist moments. It also highlights specific athletes who may not even fit into one of those categories.
The book opens in New York, 2072 with Jacklyn Jones, who is the future star of the game. She just signed a $100 million contract extension with the New York Liberty. Before a big game, she is visited by a long ago great, and compared to Maya Moore.
But then Jacklyn asks, “Who?”
Finding this unacceptable, the basketball “elder” then takes Jacklyn, and us, on a trip to the past to learn about the history of women’s basketball. It’s a fun, interesting, and artistic ride.
This is a hardcover coffee book that’s perfect to get younger athletes or lovers of the game connected to the players that have paved the way for them and to make the current state of the game possible.
I would definitely recommend this book for parents and guardians, leaders of youth teams and community organizations, and coaches at any level. This book is definitely interesting enough to hold the attention of the adults in the room – but I see a great opportunity to use this book to connect younger people to the game and its history.
There are many Black sportswomen featured in the book. Some I’ve written about, like Lusia Harris and Marian Washington. There’s also sections on Helen “Streamline” Smith and Isadore “Izzy” Channels of the Athletic Club Era, Cheryl Miller and Sheryl Swoops, and Cheyney State and C. Vivian Stringer. It doesn’t stop there, there are Black women athletes and coaches involved in so many important moments in women’s basketball history.
Hoop Muses is dedicated to “everyone who has loved this game,” so I can recommend it if you or someone you know fits into that audience.