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Why She Plays: A Book Review

Why She PlaysDid you ever wonder what combination of traits creates the perfect player? Is it raw talent? Is it drive? Or is it simply the will to win combined with passion and pure ability? Christine A. Baker answers all this and more in Why She Plays: The World of Women’s Basketball

With a forward by the WNBA’s New York Liberty’s Becky Hammond, Why She Plays is divided into six parts (Youth Basketball, High School Basketball, College Basketball, The WNBA, USA Basketball, and Media Coverage and Women’s Basketball) and ends with an eye-opening epilogue entitled Building the Perfect Player. From women’s basketball coaches to commentators to former to current players to the extraordinary to the average, Baker dives into the mind of the female athlete and packs this paperback with valuable insights.

Sprinkling in powerful statistics and personal remarks throughout the book, Baker, a former stand out college basketball player, uses her own observations to give the book a personal touch, including this memorable quote about an athlete’s love of the game.

“The happiest, purest form of inspiration and confidence I have ever experienced is found on the basketball court. Deep within me I feel the pure magic, the sheer, unabashed joy of a high arching fade away, a perfect pick and roll, or a flawless box-out. When I cross over the threshold and step out onto a gym floor. I’m able to shut the world out completely and leave my introverted shell for forty minutes to become a vial, outspoken leader who is capable of scoring at will, who is capable of winning games and making my teammates better than they thought they could be.” (Baker, 158)

Why She Plays is a modern women’s basketball bible with an exclusive pass into the world of the elite female athlete. Baker covers more floor in the basketball world than Candace Parker covers on game day. If you’re a fan of women’s athletics, a current or former basketball player, or a parent of a child navigating the world of youth sports, pick up Why She Plays.

Reviewer Keri Mikulski is the author of Screwball and Change-up as well the upcoming Full Court Press (a Pretty Tough novel).


  1. ariesapparel says:

    the value in this book lies in the fact that it’s written by a woman and she has REAL professional athletic experiences to share with female athletes. Not enough of those.

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