Andrew Blauner Interview

By Ryan McNeill

After reading through Andrew Blauner’s book “Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference” this winter I was surprised to see that Andrew had come across my site and took the time to write up an email last week to thank me for mentioning his book in some posts that I have made recently on Al McGuire. After exchanging some emails I summoned up the courage to ask Andrew for 20 minutes of his time for an interview about his book and he graciously accepted.

Some of the topics that we covered during our chat include:

  • Why he choose to write a book about coaches
  • What it was like to get some of his favourite writers to contribute to this book
  • My favourite chapter in his book was the one that Frank Deford wrote on Al McGuire. Andrew gives listeners some insight into this chapter and why he included it even though he grew up as a Notre Dame fan
  • One of the more interesting chapters was chapter written by Jane Leavy called “Coaching Bob” that deals with a woman being a “death coach” to a man. Andrew tells listeners a about this chapter and explains how this article found it’s way into the book about sports.

Click here to listen to this Hoops Addict Podcast.

Adrian Wojnarowski Interview

By Ryan McNeill

This Hoops Addict Podcast is a gem because I was able to get Adrian Wojnarowski on the show to talk about his national best seller “The Miracle of St Anthony.” Adrian writes for Yahoo Sports and his book “The Miracle of St. Anthony” is a national best seller.

For his book Adrian chronicled a year in the St Anthony basketball program and he is able to provide readers with some great insight into Coach Hurley’s program and all of the struggles that the coach and players faced that season. As a basketball coach I loved reading this book because it gave me some great insight into one of the best high school coaches of all-time. Coach Hurley has won 22 state championships, two USA TODAY national titles and has an amazing 847-97 at a school with no home gym and a student enrollment under 300.

During this interview Adrian chatted with me about how he was given permission to document the team, some of his favourite memories of documenting the team for a season and he talked about some of his favourite players on the team.

Click here to listen to the interview with Adrian Wojnarowski.

Matt de la Pena Interview

By Ryan McNeill

This winter I had the chance to read “Ball Don’t Lie” by Matt de la Pena and it instantly become one of my favourite books. The development of Sticky was so riveting that I found myself staying up past midnight reading it because I couldn’t put the book down and I found myself rooting him on despite all of his personality quirks. If you haven’t had a chance to read this book make sure you head out to your local bookstore this weekend and pick up a copy of this classic novel.

A couple months ago I was lucky enough to chat with Matt for 30 minutes about his book and the upcoming movie based on his novel. Because of the shift from 360ThePitch.com to MVN.com I’ve had to repost some of my older podcasts and I thought this would be a good time to repost one of my favourite interviews.

Some of the topics we covered were;

* What it’s like to have Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, Sharon Stone and hottie Taryn Manning sign up to be part of this movie
* He talked about playing against Steve Nash while he was on a hoops scholarship at Pacific
* We talked about what it was like to go from being a starving writer for four years to having his book picked up by a publishing company and the rights to his movie picked up all within six months
* He talked about what it’s like to have NBA stars like Antawn Jamison write to him about being fans of his book

Matt provided some great answers to my questions and this is one of my favourite interviews that I’ve conducted for my Hoops Addict Podcast series. Bare with me as I stumble through some of my questions because Matt does a great job of throwing back some answers at me that will entertain and enlighten basketball fans.

To listen to this Hoops Addict Podcast click here.

Rus Bradburd Interview

By Ryan McNeill

For this Hoops Addict Podcast I had the chance to chat with Rus Bradburd about his book “Paddy on the Hardwood.” Rus has coached alongside two of the top coaches in the history of college hoops in Lou Henson and Don Haskins (who the movie Glory Road was based on) but he got “burnt out” with college ball and decided to head to Ireland for a year. During his time in Ireland he coached a pro team while he finished writing a book and learned how to fiddle. Instead of a enjoying a relaxing year away from stresses of coaching college ball he was drawn emotionally into a rag tag team and “Paddy on the Hardwood” is a recount of his year coaching pro ball in Ireland.

Some of the topics I had the chance to chat with Rus about include;

- His reasons for writing this book and why he decided to spend a year coaching in Ireland
- Some of the rough conditions he endured playing at The Sports Complex in Ireland
- What it was like having to have a home game moved to the other teams home court
- What it was like to go from coaching in a country where basketball is one of the lead stories to somewhere like Ireland where game recaps were barely mentioned in the sports section
- Rus had the chance to coach alongside Lou Henson and that coach disliked cursing because it showed a lack of emotional control. Rus talked about frustrating was it to hear Kieran Donaghy drop the F bomb so often
- Some of the highs and lows of having Antoine Gillespie join and then leave the team midway through the season
- What it was like to train Earl Watson and Jerry West’s son when he returned to America
- In “Paddy on the Hardwood” Rus wrote about a desire to become a writer but as I read through his book it’s clear that coaching is still in his blood. We talked about if he has any intention to return to coaching

If you haven’t had a chance to check out a Hoops Addict Podcast then this is the perfect time to check one out. Besides the great insights Rus provides listening to this Podcast will give you the prefect excuse to pop open a can of Guinness while he talks about his experiences coaching in Ireland.

Click here to listen to this Hoops Addict Podcast.

Book Review: “Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich”

By Ryan McNeill

I was fortunate to be sent a copy of Mark Kriegel’s book “Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich” to review on HoopsAddict.com and after picking it up Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t able to put the book down until I had devoured all 323 pages of this epic biography. Since I’m in my mid-20′s I wasn’t able to witness the genius of Pistol Pete firsthand so this book provided me some great insight into what shaped and transformed Pete into the basketball player he was and the amazing transformation that occurred in his personal life shortly after he retired from the NBA.

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