From urban playgrounds to small-town alleyways and windswept barnyards, basketball is a universal American experience and worldwide cultural touchstone. Renowned photojournalist Robin Layton captures that shared community, as well as the diversity and astonishing beauty surrounding this simple iron ring in hoop, a loving look at basketball at its most elemental level: the basket.
hoop includes approximately 100 stunning photographs of a wide variety of American hoops, from humble garage and street courts around the country to the open-air White House court. Layton’s photographs offer a breathtaking view of the weathered dreams, fading memories, and future glories hanging from solitary backboards around the country. Her images of hoops run the gamut: some mundane and abandoned, others the childhood hoops of celebrated players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Sue Bird, and more documenting the altars upon which they laid their dreams, honed their skills, and made a first splash in the game. She has photographed hoop shrines like New York’s Rucker Park playground and tiny Milan High (the real-life underdog school that inspired the movie Hoosiers). The large-format color images are accompanied by personal quotes from coaches and players past and present about the game of basketball and the significance of particular hoops in their lives, notably from Mike Krzyzewski, Robin Roberts, Gary Payton, Danny Manning, and Rebecca Lobo among others.
hoop is not just another book about basketball, nor is it another roundup of action photos. It is an artful portrait of an American institution and a poignant vision of an American landscape for anyone passionate about the sport.