As a native Southern Californian, I was indoctrinated into Los Angeles Lakers basketball. It was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with his patented skyhook, Michael Cooper stepping behind the line for a 3-pointer, Kurt Rambis with an aggressive rebound, James Worthy driving to the basket, Byron Scott with a pull-up jumper, and of course, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, pushing the ball down the court and dishing out countless assists. It was Show Time.

I was fortunate enough to follow professional basketball when the Lakers-Celtics rivalry was in full force. It was West Coast vs East Coast, Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird. Magic was a showman with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes. He loved to be in front of the camera. Bird, on the other hand, always looked serious with his eyes downcast. He preferred to stay out of the limelight. They were team players who both earned MVP awards and lead their team to multiple national championships. What always impressed me was their selfless play. This had an impact on how I play sports and how I teach my kids today.

When the Games was Ours explores Magic’s and Larry’s childhoods, school life and passion for basketball. You’ll learn what made each Hall of Fame players. As I reflect on the book words come to mind like dedication, persistence, love of the game, growth, overcoming obstacles and celebration. I recommend this book to all sports enthusiasts and readers of biographies. It’s a slam dunk!