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The Best Women’s Basketball Books & WNBA Books of All Time

ByQueen Ballers Club|| September 26, 2020If you buy something from a link on our site, Queen Ballers Club may earn a commission.
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The best women’s basketball books provide a behind-the-scenes look into how the game has evolved. They also reveal inspiring ways to triumph over adversity. Plus, provide specific tactics for getting better as a player and person, every day.

From a look at the start of the WNBA, to the complete life stories of some of the most storied WNBA players (such as Elena Delle Donne and A’ja Wilson), coaches (like Pat Summitt), and teams (such as the South Carolina Gamecocks), we’ve pulled together a special selection to help you find your next great read.

We’ve gone beyond on the popular titles you’ve already heard of, and delved deep into this amazing game with surprising picks. Discover the rivalries of top colleges, high-profile players’ autobiographies, kids books, and even books to improve your own game — all perfect for enjoying yourself or gifting to a friend or family member.

To hear thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts about female athletes and basketball try Audible Plus with a fun 30-day free trial.

Discover the Best Women’s Basketball Books in 2024

Reading is one of the greatest ways to unlock your imagination and expand your definition of all you can achieve in life. Women’s basketball books uncover fascinating stories about some of the most epic sports moments of all time. Check out a few of our favorites.

Read the best women’s basketball books about high-profile players & coaches

Hear from some of the top names in the league. Join along as these incredible women reveal their own stories their way, with this curated selection of the best women’s basketball books.

1. A’ja Wilson’s Dear Black Girls

A’ja Wilson is a two-time WNBA MVP and a key pillar of the Las Vegas Aces, one of the industry’s hottest franchises. Despite gold medals, WNBA championships, and a list of accolades, A’ja Wilson knows how it feels to be swept under the rug―to not be heard, to not feel seen, to not be taken seriously. As a fourth grader going to a primarily white school in South Carolina, A’ja was told she’d have to stay outside for a classmate’s birthday party. “Huh?” she asked. Because the birthday girl’s father didn’t like Black people.

A’ja tells stories like this, about how even when life tried to hold her down, it didn’t stop her. She shares her contribution to “The Talk,” and how to keep fighting, all while igniting strength, passion, and joy. Dear Black Girls is a necessary and meaningful exploration of what it means to be a Black woman in America today―and a rallying cry to lift up women and girls everywhere. It’s set to be published February 6, 2024 and is available for pre-order now. Purchase on Barnes & Noble.

2. Catch a Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion by Tamika Catchings

This book is an awesome opportunity to learn from one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all-time. Tamika guides readers through her life, beginning as a child with a hearing problem, to becoming a world class athlete and human being. “Basketball chose me, an awkward, lanky, introverted tomboy, born with a hearing disability, a speech impediment, and a will to overcome obstacles, dream big and to change the world,” said Tamika Catchings, as she joined Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett into the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. Learn how she led the Indiana Fever to its first championship, the work that went into earning four Olympic gold medals, and much more.

Any basketball fan will feel encouraged to face their doubts and fears, and reach for their own stars, after this fascinating read.

3. My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne

This book is a great opportunity to learn from one of the most respected and dominant players in the women’s game. Today, Elena Delle Donne has her own signature Nike shoe, been named the 2015 and 2019 WNBA MVP, earned six WNBA All-Star honors, and was named to the All-WNBA First Team four times. She is also the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club (a group of elite sharp shooters comprised of only eight other NBA players), an Olympic gold medalist, and the WNBA scoring champion in 2015.

In My Shot, Elena reveals how she’s overcome the challenges of competitive sports through balancing hard work and the support of a loving family, and by forging her own path. During her first year of college, she walked away from a scholarship and chance to play for Geno Aurriema at UConn—the most prestigious women’s college basketball program—so she could stay in her home state of Delaware and be close to her older sister, Lizzie.

Elena’s story is relatable for any woman who has played sports. It is an especially good book for parents who have girls struggling because they are “different”!

4. Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Summitt 

Get motivated to be a better player, worker, colleague, and friend, by Pat’s ideas on what it takes to be a champion. In Sum It Up, Pat tells her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women’s basketball team, where she coached Candace Parker, among many other greats.

For 38 years, she broke records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women’s Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportswoman of the Year. Pat’s life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Yet despite it all, she led the Vols to win their sixteenth SEC championship in March 2012. Also a pioneer to promote women’s basketball in the early days of Title IX, Coach Summitt fought that her players should have the same treatment as their male counterparts.

“How to sum it up? Perhaps with the realization that makes me happiest: my Tennessee legacy is not some flat, dry record on a piece of paper, but a beautiful tree with living branches.” writes Pat Summitt. This book is part of a huge legacy that every basketball fan needs to know about.

5. Don’t Let the Lipstick Fool You by Lisa Leslie

Lisa Leslie is a three-time Olympian who led the U.S. team in scoring during the 2004 Olympic Games. She’s also a three-time MVP of the WNBA, and two-time world champion with the Los Angeles Sparks. In short, she’s one of the most iconic women’s basketball players of all time.

In Don’t Let the Lipstick Fool You, Lisa shares how she triumphed over adversity to become a world-famous athlete known for her poise, beauty, and tough play. Even if you’re not an LA Sparks fan, you have to give Lisa the credit for the way she’s blazed the trail for all the young talents we see today. We truly enjoyed the book and recommend it to any WNBA or basketball fan.

6. In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court by Brittney Griner

Get great insights into Brittney Griner, college basketball, and the WNBA. Brittney Griner, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, is a once-in-a-generation player, possessing a combination of size and athleticism never before seen in the women’s game. But “the sport’s most transformative figure” (Sports Illustrated) is equally famous for making headlines off the court, for speaking out on issues of gender, sexuality, body image and self-esteem.

In In My Skin, Brittney Griner, the dunking phenom, shares how she found her strength to overcome bullies and to embrace her authentic self. You don’t have to agree with her choices all the time, but you have to admire how she has managed to survive a very difficult life both on and off the court. Inside this book you’ll discover: ways she dealt with the years of taunting that began in middle school and continues to this day because of her 6’8” height, 88-inch wingspan, and a size 17 men’s shoe; how she came to celebrate what makes her unique—and how you can apply those same lessons; incidents that happened while she was at Baylor, including the infamous loss to Louisville during the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2013; and even her relationship with Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey; there’s a big misconception that their falling out was the result of the Louisville game but actually the main source of tension was Brittney Griner’s refusal to remain closeted once she was done with Baylor basketball

Women’s basketball fans and readers curious about Brittney should read this book. It’s a really quick, easy read. 

7. They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood by Sugar Rodgers

In her book, Sugar Rodgers, a retired professional basketball player, shares her inspiring story of overcoming tremendous odds to become an all-star in the WNBA. They Better Call Me Sugar reveals how she grew up in dire poverty in Suffolk, Virginia. While academics wasn’t a high priority for Sugar and many of her friends, athletics always played a prominent role. She mastered her three-point shot on a net her brother put up just outside their home, eventually becoming so good that she could hustle local drug dealers out of money in one-on-one contests. Learn all about her experience with the WNBA Draft in 2013, when she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx (who won the WNBA Finals in Sugar’s first year), and about her struggles both academically and as well as athletically. Everyone will find hope and inspiration in this story.

See the best women’s basketball books to improve your game

Here are some awesome women’s basketball books to help you improve your own basketball skills. Discover the most effective reads for honing your offense, defense, and mindset. You might also enjoy our fun printable basketball IQ card game (here for beginners and here for advanced), created in partnership with a Nike basketball trainer to improve your game! Or creating great goals and keeping track of your progress with our helpful printable basketball journal.

8. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover

“Everything is impossible, until someone does it.” says legendary trainer Tim Grover. For more than two decades, this author has taken the greats and made them better. His success stories include Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of relentless competitors in sports and business. In this book, he reveals what it takes to achieve total mental and physical dominance to achieve whatever you desire.

Relentless is a direct, blunt, and brutally honest take from Tim Grover. In it he breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable. Tim gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients. In this book you’ll discover: the mentality of great basketball players and their daily rituals, and previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time

It’s also available from Barnes & Noble. The Champion’s Mind is another book for the mental side of the game (and life!).

9. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Habits are the building blocks of achieving anything. This is a book by James Clear, who has a background in psychology, that explores the concept of habits and how they shape our lives. James offers practical strategies for building and maintaining good habits, and for breaking bad ones. He also discusses the role of systems, environment, and identity in shaping our habits, and how we can use these factors to our advantage. “Atomic Habits” has been widely praised for its practical and actionable advice, and has become a popular resource for individuals and organizations looking to improve their performance and productivity. James even shares a good amount of the wisdom from the book on his social media, which is worth a follow whether you decide to get the book or not. Inside you’ll discover practical and actionable advice on how to build and maintain good habits, and how to break bad ones. Plus learn how to focus on small, incremental changes and the role of systems, environment, and identity in shaping habits – as basketball players may need to make changes to their training, nutrition, and other habits in order to improve their game.

Purchase on Barnes & Noble.

10. The Coach’s Guide to Teaching By Doug Lemov

This is a great read for hoopers that want to improve their training for real results – and for coaches as well. Intended to offer lessons and guidance that are applicable to coaches of any sporting endeavor including everyone from parent volunteers to professional coaches and private trainers, this book explains everything the author knows about being a good teacher and applies it to sports (namely soccer, but it’s easy to transfer to basketball). Doug Lemov brings the powerful science of learning to the arena of sports coaching to create the next generation of championship caliber coaches. Inside you’ll discover practical analysis and solutions for so many everyday opportunities to teach – for example it’s helpful to give just one piece of feedback at a time, and during an entire training session to really stay honed in on just that one thing.

This is a dense and slightly text-book-like read, so it’s a good fit for a basketball player that’s serious about a career in the game. It’s also available on Barnes & Noble.

11. How to Watch Basketball Like a Genius By Nick Greene

If you’re looking for an easy read that can put you in a good mood, this is the one. This is a fun read for any hooper and just gives all sorts of new perspectives on the game which can make you think about it more creatively. It will also help you learn more about the history of the game. In this book, author Nick Greene’ deconstructs the sport from top to bottom and then puts it back together again, detailing its intricacies through reporting and dozens of interviews with experts. These experts, however, are a diverse group: wine critics weighing in on LeBron’s ability to delegate on the fly, magicians analyzing Chris Paul’s mystifying dribbling techniques, cartographers breaking down Steph Curry’s deadeye three-point shooting. Every chapter treats basketball to a multi-disciplined study that adventures far beyond the lines of the court, examining key elements of the sport from some surprising and revealing angles. 

See the best basketball books for the history of the sport and the WNBA

Take a walk down memory lane with some of the best women’s basketball books that reveal the history of the sport. From the nine-year rise of the Gamecocks to the birth of the WNBA, there’s something for every fan and player reader.

12. Hoop Muses: An Insider’s Guide to Pop Culture and the (Women’s) Game By Seimone Augustus

This is a fun and wonderfully illustrated history book about the women’s game, perfect for kids of all ages and adults! It’s such a unique find and makes for a great coffee table centerpiece. The book starts at the very beginning in Springfield, 1891 where basketball was invented. Readers learn the roots of the game (think: the first-ever collegiate game between Stanford and Cal, where men scaled the walls for a peek inside, or, the legend of Chicago’s Club Store Co-Eds, the all-Black barnstorming squad of the 1930s). And read about the ways the game has grown, as well as the teams and the women who helped build the foundation: Fort Shaw and the 1904 World Championship; Pat Summitt and the early years of the Lady Vols ; Delta State, featuring Margaret Wade and Lusia Harris; Cheryl Miller and Hollywood’s USC Trojans; and UConn-Tennessee and the “Sliding Doors” moment that sparked their rivalry.

Chock full of charming illustrations and important history, this book is a great read for anyone ages 8 and up. Purchase on Barnes & Noble. It makes a phenomenal birthday or holiday gift!

13. Inaugural Ballers: The True Story of the First US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team By Andrew Maraniss

An inspiring read about trailblazing women?! Sign us up! Twenty years before women’s soccer became an Olympic sport and two decades before the formation of the WNBA, the ’76 US women’s basketball team laid the foundation for the incredible rise of women’s sports in America at the youth, collegiate, Olympic, and professional levels. Learn all about the squad and its triumphs in Inaugural Ballers.
 
Though they were unknowns from small schools such as Delta State, the University of Tennessee at Martin and John F. Kennedy College of Wahoo, Nebraska, at the time of the ’76 Olympics, the American team included a roster of players who would go on to become some of the most legendary figures in the history of basketball. From Pat Head, Nancy Lieberman, Ann Meyers, Lusia Harris, coach Billie Moore, and beyond—these women took on the world and proved everyone wrong.  

This book is a great read for anyone ages 12 and up.

14. Bird at the Buzzer: UConn, Notre Dame, and a Women’s Basketball Classic by Jeff Goldberg

As a player and a fan knowing the history of the sport help you to appreciate where the top teams are today. This book takes you behind the scenes into one of women’s basketball powerhouse UConn’s most impactful games ever: the Big East Tournament championship game on March 6, 2001.

Bird at the Buzzer shares a detailed account of the games (catching the real stuff and painting it intriguingly) that led up to—and beyond—the tournament finale. Neither team led by more than eight points at any point during the game. And the match featured five future Olympians and eight first-round WNBA selections. Then, it ended with UConn’s Sue Bird hit a twelve-foot pull-up jumper at the buzzer over national player of the year Ruth Riley. Inside this book you’ll discover profiles of the two coaches, UConn’s Geno Auriemma (you’ll love his hilarious insights) and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw; close-ups of the players (including a younger Sue Bird, and a funny, quippy Diana Taurasi) who made the year so memorable; and an in-depth recap of the game worthy of being designated ESPN’s first-ever women’s basketball “Instant Classic.” 

UConn fans will find a great preservation of their favorite memories, and even non-UConn fans will find the treatment fair.

15. Here We Go!: Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks and the Road to the Championship by David Cloninger

This is one of the greatest college basketball Cinderella stories of all time. When you understand what worked for Coach Dawn Stanley, you can apply it to the way you think about the game. Basically, she single-handedly dramatically changed the Gamecocks’ women’s basketball team over nine years, culminating in the 2017 national championship.

In Here We Go!, author David Cloninger gives you a detailed look at how the team was built and how their championship season was played, with insights from players, coaches, and industry experts. Beginning from May 10, 2008, when Dawn Stanley stood at a podium and promised to bring national prominence to South Carolina. At that point in time, most thought it would take a miracle. In this book you’ll learn about the early resistance Dawn encountered, and how she overcame it; see how building on several winning seasons led to stronger recruits; and, finally, discover what it took to earn the only prize she hadn’t yet achieved.

Explore the best women’s basketball books for kids

Inspire young girls everywhere with these awesome women’s basketball books for young readers.

16. The Middle School Rules of Skylar Diggins By Sean Jensen

Skylar Diggins-Smith is a basketball phenomenon, getting her first letter of interest from a college coach in fifth grade. She is an icon: signing as the first female client of Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. She’s also a four-time All-American, a two-time All Star Starter, WNBA’s 2014 Most Improved Player, and was Named to WNBA’s 2014 First Team.

The Middle School Rules of Skylar Diggins features Skylar’s defining childhood stories and lessons about growing up in a diverse middle-class family. Young readers will learn how Skylar dealt with bullying, struggled to fit in at school, and figured out how to excel in basketball despite never being the tallest, strongest, or fastest player. Inside you’ll discover: Personal anecdotes that helped her become the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year and one of the most decorated collegiate basketball players; How she played football and basketball growing up, and what else impacted her during her early years; What led her to decide to go to Notre Dame, where she earned the distinction as one of just six NCAA Division 1 players to compile 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, and 300 steals.

Any kids of any age that like sports should read this book. In fact, this whole series is well written, clean, and positive.

17. Teresa Weatherspoon’s Basketball for Girls by Teresa Weatherspoon

Two-time Olympian, two-time winner of the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award, and professional star, Teresa Weatherspoon shares all of her basketball secrets. In this fun and informative book, you’ll get the inside scoop on passing, dribbling, defending, shooting, and all the rules of the game.Basketball for Girls shares why she believes that unselfishness, hard work, and a positive attitude are as valuable as technical skill. Furthermore, what makes it fascinating are the set-off pieces by Weatherspoon that give an insight into her character. Inside you’ll discover: instruction and advice, stressing teamwork and encouraging girls to have fun playing the game, and exercises for pregame stretches to off-season conditioning.

This book is aimed at teaching younger players (girls in Grade 5 and up), but has good fundamental advice for players of any age (or gender, for that matter). And it’s an excellent resource for sports collections.

18. Maya Moore: Basketball Star (Women Sports Stars) by Lori Mortensen

Join along for a fun, early elementary biography of former UConn women’s basketball legend Maya Moore. Maya is one of the country’s best female athletes. Just this year she made her first appearance on Time’s Most Influential People list in the “Pioneers” section. Also, she was the first overall selection in the 2011 WNBA Draft. And, Maya led the Minnesota Lynx to four WNBA titles in her eight seasons. In addition, she won numerous individual awards, including league MVP in 2014. 

Maya Moore the book, provides the inside scoop on her NCAA and WNBA championship wins. Inside you’ll discover: insights into her childhood; the challenges she has overcome; and her greatest accomplishments. Discover a story of perseverance and dedication paying off, that will inspire your younger ones.

Read the Best Women’s Basketball Books for Hoopers

Now you know the best women’s basketball books to add to your reading list. Get insights from players, coaches, and historians, to fine tune your game or learn more about the sport you love. Also, when you purchase books from the links in this post, you help support our website’s reporting, because Amazon sends a few cents from each purchase back our way. Thank you so much!

Up next, learn more about some of the newest women making an impact on the game: Veronica Burton, Dallas Wings’ lock down defender, and Aari McDonald, Atlanta Dream’s rising point guard.

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