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), 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.
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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.
Up next, 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.
This book is ultimate drill collection from basketball’s best to help you develop new skills or fine-tune your game. Discover Tennessee’s Pat Summitt and Texas’ Jody Conradt favorite drills that led to 1,800 victories! Fellow NCAA National Championship head coaches Nancy Fahey and Brenda Frese, combine with 40 other legendary minds, to bring you nearly 200 game-winning strategies.
The Women’s Basketball Drill Book covers drills in a way that less experienced coaches and players can understand and implement. Yet it promotes the fundamental techniques needed to succeed at even the highest levels of play. Part I contains training and conditioning drills; Part II contains offensive drills; and Part III has defensive drills. In this book you’ll discover:
Whether you’re a coach or player, aspiring young hopeful or experienced team leader, you’ll love this resource. It will provide you with the best drills for all aspects of the game.
Get the Women’s Basketball Drill Book here.
“Everything is impossible, until someone does it.” says legendary trainer Tim Grover. For more than two decades, this man 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. You keep going when everyone else is giving up; thrive under pressure; never let your emotions make you weak. Grover gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients such as “don’t think”. In “The Relentless 13,” he details the essential traits shared by achievers. In this book you’ll discover:
As a result, this book is perfect for people who want to perform at top levels.
This is a great book for coaches, which makes it a great book for hoopers eager to learn how to perform better through smarter practice. Why is it time we move away from the idea that we learn through boring repetition of a skill in an un-game-like practice environment, running through tires, hitting off tees and dribbling through cones? This book is a fascinating look at the exciting alternative approach to how we learn to move and its implications for practice design, coaching, keeping kids engaged in sports, injury prevention, developing training technology, using analytics and more. While How We Learn to Move has some typos and is a little repetitive, the concepts are really revolutionary and can change the way you think about the game. Inside this book you’ll discover:
This is a great book for a hooper that likes to do research on the sport.
Get How We Learn to Move here.
Similarly to the previous book, this is a great read for hoopers that want to improve their training for real results – and for coaches as well. The best-selling author of Teach Like a Champion and Reading Reconsidered brings his considerable knowledge about the science of classroom teaching to the sports coaching world to create championship caliber coaches on the court and field. What great classroom teachers do is relevant to coaches in profound ways. After all, coaches are at their core teachers.
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, Doug Lemov brings the powerful science of learning to the arena of sports coaching to create the next generation of championship caliber coaches. Inside The Coach’s Guide to Teaching you’ll discover:
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.
Get the Coach’s Guide to Teaching here.
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.
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.
Catch a Star tells Tamika’s story of overcoming. When all she wanted was to fit in, Tamika Catchings never imagined one day she’d stand out. Catchings faced being set apart by her hearing loss, separation from family, living up to high expectations, and the pain and discouragement of debilitating physical injuries. Yet she reached for the stars with hard work, perseverance, and her faith in God. Inside you’ll discover:
Any basketball fan will feel encouraged to face their doubts and fears, and reach for their own stars, after this fascinating read.
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 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. Inside you’ll discover:
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”!
Get My Shot here. Also did you know Elena has her own signature shoe out from Nike as well?
Get motivated to be a better player, worker, colleague, and friend, by Pat’s ideas on what it takes to be a champion. 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.
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. Inside this book you’ll discover:
“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.
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. Inside this book you’ll discover:
We truly enjoyed the book and recommend it to any WNBA or basketball fan.
Get Don’t Let The Lipstick Fool You here.
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:
Women’s basketball fans and readers curious about Brittney should read this book. It’s a really quick, easy read.
In her new book Sugar Rodgers, a professional basketball player currently playing in the WNBA for the Las Vegas Aces, 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. Inside you’ll discover:
Everyone will find hope and inspiration in this story, especially those growing up in economically challenging conditions.
Get They Better Call Me Sugar here.
Inspire young girls everywhere with these awesome women’s basketball books for young readers.
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:
Any kids of any age that like sports should read this book. In fact, this whole series is well written, clean, and positive.
Get The Middle School Rules here.
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 Spoon 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:
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.
Get Basketball for Girls here.
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:
Discover a story of perseverance and dedication paying off, that will inspire your younger ones.
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.
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.
Inside this book you’ll discover:
This book is a great read for anyone ages 8 and up.
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.
Inside this book you’ll discover:
This book is a great read for anyone ages 12 and up.
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:
Rabid UConn fans will find a careful preservation of their favorite memories, and even non-UConn fans will find the treatment fair.
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:
There should be more cross-over, in terms of knowledge sharing and support, for women in sport and women in business. Both are blazing new trails, while encountering similar resistance. And this book helps bridge that gap.
No matter what your goal is, whether it’s to succeed in the corporate world or coach your own winning team, this book reveals an inspirational road map to compete and win. In Playbook for Success, Hall of Fame Business Entrepreneur Nancy Lieberman brings her leadership and coaching ability to teach professional women the same rules of success she teaches her players.
This book is a plan to help make success part of your daily routine and teach women that success is not just a title or corner office, but an attitude, belief, and way of life. Inside you’ll discover:
Get it for all the people into basketball in your life. And also get it if you are interested in a great read, and want to understand Nancy Lieberman and her tactics.
Get Playbook for Success here.
It’s easier to know where women’s basketball is headed, if you know where it’s been. So go back in time to the smash-hit debut year for the WNBA: the most successful start by a league in professional sports history.
WNBA: A Celebration presents a pictorial look at the league, from the first moment it was announced to the championship game. Despite all the clamoring that “nobody watches the WNBA“, that was simply untrue, even back at its start, as more than 50 million fans turned in to watch games on NBC, ESPN, and Lifetime. The league averaged nearly 10,000 fans per game after projecting only 4,500 before the season began. Inside you’ll discover:
This book is the ultimate collectible, packed with lively anecdotes and the fascinating history of the league.
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.