Great book about AAU and College basketball

The book is called Play Their Hearts Out. Written by a guy who writes for SI. Just finished the book and it was pretty revealing on the exploitation of some AAU players by coaches. The book is based on the west coast mostly but mentions names we all know (Multiple Tarholes, Siva from Louisville, Lance Stephenson, assistants at Xavier, Thad Matta and assistants, UCLA, USC, etc…). Very small blurbs about Gerrity and Beasley. The author followed a guy name Joe Keller and basically his “rise to fame” on the backs of a bunch of glorified 8th graders. It shows how AAU coaches with major pull just step on the kids to get to the better ones, how Nike and Adidas got involved, all these recruiting websites.

The book is long and follows these kids through their high school years. Obviously he wanted to show the corrupt side and maybe he embellished who knows. The pressure put on these kids was unbelievable. Coaches use them to get money from programs, coaches use rich parents by putting kids on team if they pay to travel, just some gross stuff. Anyway…good read if you get the chance.

Here is a little write up I found on ESPN . I first heard about the book listening to The Herd on ESPN…they had the author on and he said one thing that really stuck in my mind. He was talking about playing year round ball and said don’t let your kid play high school ball. don’t risk the injury. Went on to talk about AAU circuit will get them noticed.

Did you say “Matta and ASSISTANTS”?

Yes…if I recall it was nothing bad just how they were pursing one the guys the book follows. I do think they were eventually found of recruiting violations the next year or something like that…I think. Like I mentioned…most of the talk is out west. USC and UCLA.