It’s May, and for many of us that month gets classified as the first of the “non-college basketball” months. But my wife insists that May is actually the kick off to summer (in addition to Justin Timberlake’s favorite month). So if you’re going to settle in for several months without watching basketball, why not read about it!
Since the Wildcat’s 2016 National Championship, a number of new titles have come out that you may or may not have heard of. There’s also plenty of books that focus on the 1985 Championship. We’ve even thrown in some fun reads that cover basketball, football, and learning your 1,2,3,(4.7)’s. So while you’re picking up your swim suit and sun screen for the summer months, be sure to grab one of these books as well:
The 2016 National Championship
Attitude: Develop A Winning Mindset On And Off The Court - Jay Wright, Michael Sheridan, Mark Dagostino
This walk through of the championship season from the perspective of Villanova’s core values, also available as an audio book, is Jay Wright’s first foray into the book business. As a co-author, he clearly had some help putting it all together, but the ideas and “attitude” behind the book all come straight from the head coach. You can see our review of the book here.
Long Shots: Jay Wright, Villanova, and College Basketball’s Most Unlikely Champion - Dana O’Neil
Probably the book that centers most on the 2016 National Champions the most, this book has great insights and behind the scenes stories from an author who’s been covering Villanova and Jay Wright just about as long as the coach has been at the university. Her close ties to the program gave her unique access to the members of the team, previously untold story lines, and great insight on Villanova’s path to the school’s second National Championship.
Win In Your Life: Follow the Path of Champions; Learn from the Villanova Wildcats - Michael London
This one comes from one of the members of the VUHoops community, Michael London (Class of ‘74). It’s a look at successful values and attributes through the prism of the 2016 National Championship team. Michael has done an in-depth write up for us, and you can find more information at wininyourlife.com. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a “self improvement” book with a Villanova twist. A great read, but what else would you expect from someone who reads VUHoops!
The 1985 National Championship
The Perfect Game: How Villanova’s Shocking 1985 Upset of Mighty Georgetown Changed the Landscape of College Hoops Forever - Frank Fitzpatrick
Penned by famed Philadelphia sports writer Frank Fitzpatrick, The Perfect Game has a great combination of off the court stories and on the court drama. Having been about 3 months old when this game was played, reading this book was a great way for this millennial to gain a better appreciation of one of Villanova’s greatest games.
Ed Pinckney’s Tales from the Villanova Hardwood - Ed Pinckney and Bob Gordon
Ed Pinckney was the key to Villanova’s 1985 Championship, and in his book he retells stories from his time at Nova. Pinckney’s a gifted speaker and storyteller, and now as a coach himself, he has a unique perspective on his team’s improbable National Championship.
The Perfect Game: Villanova vs. Georgetown for the National Championship - Kyle Keiderling
Another look at the “perfect game” from sports biographer Kyle Keiderling. What makes this one different from the others? It features a foreword from Villanova’s other National Championship Head Coach, Jay Wright.
The Villanova Miracle and 63 Other Dreams: A Game-by-Game Guide to the 1985 NCAA Tournament - John Schaefer
Looking for every stat, specific, and story from Villanova’s 1985 run to the Championship? Get that and details on every other game played in the memorable 1985 Tournament that featured an almost All-Big East Final Four that led to Villanova’s stunning upset of Georgetown.
Other Villanova Books
Villanova Wildcats Trivia Crossword, Word Search, Activity Puzzle Book: Greatest Basketball Players Edition - Mega Media Depot
If you want a little less reading, but still want that Villanova twist, check out this Villanova themed puzzle book!
Count on Villanova: Fun Facts from 1 to 12 - Robin Ward
It’s never too early to start prepping for a Villanova education! This book is aimed at children ages 2-5, and was penned by a Villanova Mathematics graduate from the Philadelphia area who went on to work for NASA. That’s someone I’d want to learn my numbers from!
A Season In Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football’s Lower Class - Tony Moss
A look at Villanova’s 2005 season, and the differences between FBS and FCS programs. An insider’s take on the Wildcat program and its challenges in the mid 2000’s.
If you have any summer reading suggestions, Nova related or not, be sure to leave them in the comments below. See you at the beach!