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Streetball: All the Ballers, Moves, Slams, & Shine    by And 1 & Chris Palmer order for
by And 1
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Streetball: All the Ballers, Moves, Slams, & Shine tells how it all started in the 60s and 70s, with 'artistic moves' and 'Herculean feats' at inner city 'hoop spots', where nets were rarely replaced and soon disintegrated, but where 'street reps' could be earned. Early streetball greats include Joe 'The Destroyer' Hammond, and Earl 'The Goat' Manigault. Unfortunately, many served time in prison, 'the downfall of another street dreamer.' The authors speak of a lull in the 80s and an explosion of 'street hoops' coast to coast in the 90s.

How did it happen? We're told that the spark was Rafer 'Skip to My Lou' Alston, born in Queens with a passion and a genius for streetball that ignited interest in others ... 'Since grass doesn't grow in the ghetto, stories do.' Skip eventually made it to the NBA. At the same time as Alston's legend was mushrooming, sneaker company AND 1 distributed a 'Skip tape' with all its shoe sales. Given the immediate enormous interest, the company made more tapes, which 'shot out of stores' and led to 'Mix Tape Tours' - likened to 'streetball meets American Idol'. Thus, a streetball industry was born.

Inspiring stories of AND 1 Mix Tape Team members are told next, from Harlem's 'Alimoe' Evans to 'Flash' Howard, who sadly died in 2004. Following this are instructions (accompanied by step by step photographs) for 'The Moves' from basics like 'Left Fade Away' through intermediate techniques like 'Boomerang', to advanced moves such as 'Now You See It' or 'Sauce 2K'. The book ends by celebrating Rafer Alston's success in moving from the streets to the NBA, and closes with a list of top U.S. Streetball courts.

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