More Than Just a Game: The Black Origins of Basketball

by Madison Moore (Author) Lonnie Ollivierre (Illustrator)

More Than Just a Game: The Black Origins of Basketball
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Today, the NBA is around 74% Black but, when basketball first started to catch on, it wasn't easy for Black people to play. They couldn't enter segregated YMCAs or attend privileged colleges. So Black Americans made their own spaces, playing in dance halls before the dancing started, and eventually forming teams called the Black Fives.

More than Just a Game celebrates the history of basketball from a Black perspective, revealing how it changed Black communities and how they made the sport into what it is today.


Starred Review
A brief but nonetheless impressive sports history that is too often overlooked. (player profiles, additional resources) (Informational picture book. 4-9)

School Library Journal

A strong choice for elementary and middle school libraries for its more complete and more nuanced look at the history of basketball.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021
Best Informational Picture Books of 2021

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!