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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Madness: The Man Who Changed Basketball by Mike DeLucia is based on a true story about the little-known fact of how one man changed the history of basketball. The year is 1926 and ten-year-old Angelo "Hank" Luisetti is among a crowd of spectators at the Galileo High School Gymnasium in San Francisco. A less popular sport compared to baseball and football, basketball players at this time strictly follow the stop-set-shoot philosophy and generally pass and shoot the ball using two hands, which made the game less of a thrill. Of Italian origin and groomed to inherit his father's business, Hank develops a love for basketball that will take him to Stanford University to become their star player. His innovations will later be considered as the start of a new era for this now highly popular game.
Mike DeLucia's Madness: The Man Who Changed Basketball is obviously a tribute to Angelo "Hank" Luisetti and it is richly well deserved. It is fascinating to learn about this young man who pioneered the running one-handed shot and helped make basketball the exciting and popular game that it is today. Mike DeLucia traces Hank's story with surprisingly meticulous detail and the result is a vivid picture of an unassuming young man that made an important mark in basketball history. What makes Madness an engaging read is that when readers turn the pages of this book, they somehow get to personally know the man whose significant contributions to basketball history are largely ignored; his hopes, dreams, and struggles. So the next time we enjoy watching a thrilling basketball game, we can thank Hank Luisetti for it.