How Basketball Can Save the World: 13 Guiding Principles for Reimagining What's Possible
A thought-provoking exploration of how basketball—and the values rooted in the game—can solve today’s most pressing issues, from the professor behind the popular New York University course
NBA and WNBA superstars, Hall of Fame players, coaches, and leading cultural figures have all dropped by New York University Professor David Hollander’s course “How Basketball Can Save the World” course to debate and give insights on how the underlying principles of the game can provide a new blueprint for addressing our diverse challenges and showing what’s possible beyond the court.
Now, in How Basketball Can Save the World, Hollander takes us out of the classroom to present a beautiful new philosophy with contributions by many of his past guests and based on values inherent to basketball, such as inclusion and the balancing of individual success with the needs of the collective. These principles move us beyond conflict and confusion toward a more harmonious and meaningful future:
- Positionless-ness: In basketball, players aren’t siloed into just one position or responsibility. In life, we can learn to be more adaptive to the challenges we face by embracing a positionless mindset.
- Human Alchemy: We talk a lot about team chemistry, but team alchemy means the creation of something totally new—a team far greater than the sum of its parts.
- Sanctuary: Basketball offers players a critical space to feel safe, free, and expressive. Fostering similar spaces in the real world can encourage people to be their best, happiest, and most productive selves.
- Transcendence: Basketball is about defying gravity, becoming weightless, and flying higher than anyone ever has before. By seeking out this principle, we can elevate ourselves and those around us to a new plane of experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the game or have never set foot on a court, How Basketball Can Save the World will empower you to become more resilient, tolerant, and wise in your relationship with yourself, others, and the world around you.
David Hollander, JD, is an assistant dean and clinical professor with the Tisch Institute for Global Sport at New York University and received NYU’s highest faculty honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award. He sits on the advisory boards for espnW, the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School, and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute. He holds his high school's record for most technical fouls in a season and a career.