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Publisher's Summary

The NBA has returned to prominence on the backs of phenoms like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett. The media promotes them, the shoe companies pay them, and America applauds. But how exactly do such players reach the pros? What do they give up to get there? And what happens to those who fall short?

Drawing on eight years of reporting and telling the very specific tale of one talented young recruit, his coach, and his teammates, George Dohrmann immerses listeners in the world of grassroots basketball, where men hunt for future NBA stars and young boys and their parents navigate a tumultuous course in pursuit of basketball glory.

©2010 George Dohrmann (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Buck 50 Productions, LLC

Critic Reviews

“[A] wonderful and immaculately reported first book…It’s a brilliant and heart-wrenching journey, and a cautionary tale to any basketball player who thinks the path to the NBA is a slam dunk.” ( Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Randy
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 11-03-10

Amazing book, fantastic narration.

This book is a tremendous achievement. It will move you to laugh, to cry and to shake your head in disbelief. The author deserves heaps of praise for eloquently bringing this engrossing, true story to the public.

The other reviewers are entirely wrong about their remarks regarding the female narration. A woman's voice works here because one of the main characters spends the bulk of his time yelling. If a man read this it would result in either an emotionless reading or constant shouting at the listener. Beyond that, this is a story with a multitude of male basket-ball playing characters. Choosing a woman to narrate allows for each of these characters to have their own identities in a way that a man narrating would not. There's no risk that the voice becomes one of the primary characters in the story.

This is a story about people, not about basketball. One need not know the sport well to be moved by this book. This is an important story with moments that will stick with you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Insight.

I really liked the stories. I just wanted a better wrap up. Insightful and informative overall.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A really good story

I rated this book a five because ,even though a written documentary , it was very entertaining .
Additionally , I found myself rooting for and hating some of the people.
The book provided a glimpse into what it take to become a top b ball player and what I might need to help my son with for him to succeed with his basketball goals.
1/2 way into the book I immediate researched and hired a trainer for my son and some of his friends . Some people had an issue with a female reader if a male author . Foolishness the narrator was great

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TL
  • 02-07-17

A Great Read

This is an awesome story and very enlightening for a parent of a young athlete.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • Washington, DC
  • 04-12-15

Awesome!

If you could sum up Play Their Hearts Out in three words, what would they be?

Fantastic book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Demetrius.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Too long for that, but I loved it.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • Flower Mound, TX
  • 08-21-12

Interesting Look into Grass Roots Basketball

Where does Play Their Hearts Out rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The story was interesting and showed a little seen glimpse into grass roots basketball. I found the inside story of how urban kids are ofter exploited by "coaches" that are only concerned with lining their pockets. The story was interesting, but the audio production left a lot to be desired. You could hear the reader stumble over her words and you could hear frequent cuts where audio from multiple recording sessions had been spliced together.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • nicole
  • Lancaster, TX, United States
  • 05-02-12

Who would ever submit their child to this???

I have to confess, I have 5 hours left before finishing this book. I will finish this book just because I am curious about what happens to some of the players in the book not at all because I am curious about what happens to the coach! My son plays AAU ball but not at all close to these extremes and I hope we never have to go through some of these acrobatics in order for my son to secure a college scholarship in basketball. This book is interesting, frustrating, infuriating and sad. Unfortunately, the more frustrated I get when reading the book, the more frustrating Emily's narration becomes. To her credit, maybe if the book was a more positive one, her narration wouldn't bother me so much but it does. Her narration is like listening to someone read directions on how to fill out an IRS tax form. Sorry.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great to listen to with your kids

This was quite a long story, and I ended up listening to quite a bit of of it without the kids, but the bits they listened to they really enjoyed. The fact that it is a true story made it more intriguing, and it was a fascinating look into the way youth basketball is played in other countries, which is quite different to hear in Australia.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, bad reader

My problem with the reader isn't that she's a woman it's that she's just not a good reader. She obviously has no experience reading sports related material which makes her a curious choice for this book. For example, when reading a team's won-loss record which was written as "20-9" she says "twenty to nine" rather than "20 and 9" which, if you know anything about sports at all, is how it should be read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hebern
  • Clinton, NC, United States
  • 03-04-11

Hoop Dreams

This was a great book for anyone who enjoys college basketball, but never understood the AAU system and how it is harming the college game. I would give the book itself a 5+ rating. The only bad thing was the narrator. This book really shouldn't come from a female voice, since all the voices in it are male. In addition the narrator was just not good. The book was so good, however, that I was eventually able to get past that and enjoy it.