A thought-provoking exploration of how basketball—and the values rooted in the game—can solve today’s most pressing issues, from the professor behind the popular New York University course
NBA and WNBA superstars, Hall of Fame players, coaches, and leading cultural figures have all dropped by New York University Professor David Hollander’s course “How Basketball Can Save the World” course to debate and give insights on how the underlying principles of the game can provide a new blueprint for addressing our diverse challenges and showing what’s possible beyond the court.
Now, in How Basketball Can Save the World, Hollander takes us out of the classroom to present a beautiful new philosophy with contributions by many of his past guests and based on values inherent to basketball, such as inclusion and the balancing of individual success with the needs of the collective. These principles move us beyond conflict and confusion toward a more harmonious and meaningful future:
Positionless-ness: In basketball, players aren’t siloed into just one position or responsibility. In life, we can learn to be more adaptive to the challenges we face by embracing a positionless mindset.
Human Alchemy: We talk a lot about team chemistry, but team alchemy means the creation of something totally new—a team far greater than the sum of its parts.
Sanctuary: Basketball offers players a critical space to feel safe, free, and expressive. Fostering similar spaces in the real world can encourage people to be their best, happiest, and most productive selves.
Transcendence: Basketball is about defying gravity, becoming weightless, and flying higher than anyone ever has before. By seeking out this principle, we can elevate ourselves and those around us to a new plane of experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the game or have never set foot on a court, How Basketball Can Save the World will empower you to become more resilient, tolerant, and wise in your relationship with yourself, others, and the world around you.
About the Author
David Hollander, JD, is an assistant dean and clinical professor with the Tisch Institute for Global Sport at New York University and received NYU’s highest faculty honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award. He sits on the advisory boards for espnW, the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School, and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute. He holds his high school's record for most technical fouls in a season and a career.
“Professor Hollander makes the case for basketball as a philosophy—as a required subject like math, science, history, or literature. I’m ready to get my PhD.”—Charles Barkley, NBA All-Star, Inductee Basketball Hall of Fame
“Ball is life. This book tells us how and why.”—Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks
“If we are going to think and act in new ways about inclusion, gender and equity, then we need new ideas and new language. Professor Hollander shows us how basketball is that new way and that new language.”—Nneka Ogwumike, WNBPA President and WNBA Champion, MVP, 7-time All-Star
“You learn very powerful things in basketball: how to be in sync with other people and the pleasure of that; a sense of ‘I belong here’ and ‘I’m an important part of a larger thing’ and that we all are in the same boat, we’re all human beings. Hollander has hit at the core of something very fundamental.”—Bessel van der Kolk, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score
“So much bigger than the game. An achievement bar none by a true scholar, in love. Read, enjoy, learn, absorb, disagree. Needs to be a required part of the curriculum at every college nationwide.”—Dan Klores, Peabody award-winning filmmaker
“Reading this book was a bit like watching a perfectly executed play. It made my heart feel full.”—Gene Luen Yang, award-winning author of Dragon Hoops and American Born Chinese, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
“There's nothing better than actually playing ball, but the next best thing may very well be sharing stories and emotions of how the game affects us all in a deeply nuanced manner. I can’t sit still experiencing How Basketball Can Save The World. It gets me too riled up not to lace up!”—Bobbito Garcia, basketball sage, author of Aim High, Little Giant, Aim High, director of Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball NYC