Ever wanted to know the physics behind a layup? What positions are on the court and what they do? How many pebbles are on a basketball? Readers will learn all this and more in NatGeo's fun, analytical overview of basketball. The photos are breathtaking, the breakdown of stats and facts are well researched, and information is easily relayed. Interactive activities are also featured, including one where an outline of NBA player Kawhi Leonard's hand size is shown to demonstrate how big it would be in comparison to the reader’s hand. Buckley keeps the information and stats incredibly balanced between the NBA and WNBA, and college’s NCAAM and NCAAW. The only drawback to this much information is that pages can be a bit busy at times, but that will hardly matter to fans. NBA legend Kobe Bryant penned a foreword urging readers to "make math as fun as the game itself." The game may be a little dimmer without Bryant, but readers can take his message to heart with this book. The substantial back matter includes a glossary and an explanation of abbreviations (many stats are given in their abbreviated form, such as PPG or points per game), an index, photo credits, and a reference for math teachers to discuss different topics throughout the book (division, physics, etc.).
VERDICT A slam dunk purchase. Basketball fans will devour this book with the credentials of NatGeo and ESPN to back it up.—School Library Journal starred review