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Sports Biographies

August 13, 2019

You like sports? Us too! Come read some cool and inspiring stories about people who share your same interests. 

Strong inside: the true story of how Perry Wallace broke college basketball's color line / Andrew Maraniss

The inspirational true story of the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference--a powerful moment in Black history.

Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee's first racially-integrated state tournament.

The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on. This insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

Breakaway / Alex Morgan

Get inspired to be your best—in sports and in life—with this uplifting memoir from star soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA World Cup champion Alex Morgan that includes eight pages of full-color photos!

As a talented and successful female athlete, Alex Morgan is a role model to thousands of girls who want to be their best, not just in soccer, but in life. The story of her path to success—from playing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, to winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics, to ranking as one of the National Team’s top scorers—will inspire everyone who reads it.

From her beginnings with the American Youth Soccer Organization to the role she played in winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Alex shares the details that made her who she is today: a fantastic role model and athlete who proudly rocks a pink headband.

Shaken: fighting to stand strong no matter what comes your way / Tim Tebow, with AJ Gregory

Whether you’re celebrating an incredible victory or facing life’s biggest disappointment, your response will reveal who you really are.

In this powerful book designed specifically for young Christians, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow provides an intimate look into how he’s been able to face professional triumphs and defeats and still emerge with his faith and identity intact.

In Shaken: The Young Reader’s Edition, Tebow shares his insight for shaping an identity based not on your highs and lows, but on God. He examines the courageous lives of Biblical figures and the many inspirational people he’s met to show you how to:

Overcome your fears and accept God’s perfect, unconditional love

Transform your insecurities into opportunities for growth

Embrace your unique, God-given talents to make a difference in your world

With honesty that speaks directly to the heart, Tebow will inspire you to build a God-centered identity and begin today to live out your divine purpose!

My shot: balancing it all and standing tall / Elena Delle Donne, with Sarah Durand

Elena Delle Donne, 2015 WNBA MVP and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, shares her inspirational story of being a young basketball prodigy who gave up an impressive basketball scholarship for family and self-discovery.

Elena Delle Donne has always forged her own path. During her first year of college, she walked away from a scholarship and chance to play for Geno Aurriema at UConn—the most prestigious women’s college basketball program—so she could stay in her home state of Delaware and be close to her older sister, Lizzie, who has several disabilities and can only communicate through hand-over-hand signing.

Burned out and questioning her passion for basketball, she attended the University of Delaware and took up volleyball for a year. Eventually she found her way back to her first love, playing basketball for the Blue Hens, ultimately leading them, a mid-major team, to the Sweet Sixteen. She went on to become the second overall selection during the 2013 WNBA draft and the WNBA’s 2015 MVP.

Elena Delle Donne delivers a powerful and motivational story of overcoming the challenges of competitive sports through balancing hard work and the support of a loving family.

Next round: a young athlete's journey to gold / John Spray

Arthur Biyarslanov’s journey to competitive boxing has not been easy. As a small child he fled Chechnya with his family, dodging bullets and rocket fire and fording a freezing river. As a young Muslim refugee he faced hardships and hostility in his new homes in Azerbaijan and Toronto. Soccer became his refuge, and he learned two languages by playing the game with his new friends. In Toronto, he joined a league and quickly became their star player. A broken leg left him weakened and he turned to boxing to keep his strength up. Soon it became his new love. After many hours of hard work, he started to win his bouts. And by the age of twenty the “Chechen Wolf” was a champion amateur boxer, winning gold for Canada, his new homeland, at the 2015 Pan Am Games. That medal earned him a shot at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro―the next round for this talented boxer and determined survivor.

Courage to soar: a body in motion, a life in balance / Simone Biles ; with Michelle Burford

Simone Biles’ entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.

But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medals—fourteen of them gold—and the Olympic successes. Through years of hard work and determination, she has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive, while having fun competing at the highest level and doing what she loves. Here, in her own words, Simone takes you through the events, challenges, and trials that carried her from an early childhood in foster care to a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team.

Along the way, Simone shares the details of her inspiring personal story—one filled with the kinds of daily acts of courage that led her, and can lead you, to even the most unlikely of dreams.

Lebron James: king on and off the court / Ken Rappoport

Explores the life and career of contemporary sports stars highlighting not only their athletic feats, but also their charitable efforts outside of the sports world through easy-reading text and full-color photos.

 

(All book descriptions provided by Amazon.com) 

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