Books by Tara VanDerveer

Released: Sept. 1, 1997

With the help of sportswriter Ryan (Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, 1995), the three-time National Coach of the Year and coach of the gold-medal-winning 1996 Olympic women's basketball team tells all. Perhaps as well known for her sober behavior and dress as for her coaching success, VanDerveer displays a side here—warm, determined, unabashedly flawed, and unselfconsciously upbeat—that should surprise those who have not followed her career since the beginning. VanDerveer relives the inequities that defined her playing career in the days prior to and just following the inception of Title IX; the grudging acceptance of the letter, rather than the spirit, of that law; and the none-too-subtle gender discrimination that still taints most sports. (After arriving in Atlanta for the Olympics, members of VanDerveer's team were told that they would receive just half the meal money of their male counterparts). Rather than catalog these setbacks and inequities, VanDerveer instead explains how her own doggedness and will to succeed helped her rise. The coach repeatedly (if unintentionally) demonstrates how her seldom-heralded ability to adapt enabled her to continually challenge and inspire Team USA—which compiled a 60-0 record en route to the gold medal. Since the games, VanDerveer has returned to Stanford, turning aside lucrative offers to coach in one of the two competing pro women's leagues. (During the off- season, she does television commentary on the WNBA.) However, judging from the impact she's had on her players' lives, VanDerveer has succeeded in making women stop listening to reasons why they can't or shouldn't play and start thinking about how they can be better players. (8 pages photos, not seen) (First printing of 60,000; author tour) Read full book review >