Year of the Dunk

Year of the Dunk

A Modest Defiance of Gravity

Book - 2015
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By learning to dunk a ball at the age of 34, journalist Asher Price investigates the limits of his potential--and our own. We all like to think we can run faster, pick up another language, or cook a souffle. But very few of us ever really test ourselves. Seizing upon the dunk, which is richly freighted with distinctly American themes of culture, race, and upward mobility, Price asks: How much of our story do we weave with our own hands? The dunk mesmerized Asher Price as a child, but even with his height (six foot plus) and impressive wingspan, he never really pushed himself to try it. Now, in this entertaining book of science journalism, Price spends a year remaking his body and testing his mind as he wonders, like most adults, what talent he has left behind. In the tradition of the best books that pit men and women against their own abilities--such as Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein and George Plimpton's Paper Lion -- Year of the Dunk takes the reader from hot Texas training sessions with an Olympic gold medal high jumper to a Cambridge, England, lab devoted to the study of jumping insects as Price meets with athletes, scientists, and physiotherapists in this exploration of potential. A shadow narrative emerges about Price's own past as a cancer survivor. Learning to dunk takes Price down all sorts of avenues--biology and physics, race and gender, and, briefly, the history of one of sport's lightning moves. It forces him to ask some fundamental questions about human ability and the degree to which we can actually improve ourselves, even with great effort.
The showmanship of the dunk mesmerized Price as a child, but even with his height (six foot plus) and impressive wingspan, he never pushed himself to try it. Now, approaching middle age, Asher decides to spend a year remaking his body and testing his mind as he wonders, like most adults, what untapped talent he still possesses. Along the way he dives into the history and science of one of sports' most exuberant acts, examining everything from our genetic predisposition towards jumping to the cultural role of the slam dunk. The year-long effort forces him to ask some fundamental questions about human ability and the degree to which we can actually improve ourselves, even with great determination.
Publisher: New York : Crown, [2015]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780804138031
0804138036
9780804138048
Branch Call Number: 796.3232 PRICE
Characteristics: x, 269 pages ; 25 cm

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