The Basketball Podcast: EP255 with David Hollander on Saving the World

RELEASE DATE : 15/02/2023

In this week’s coaching conversation, David Hollander, author of How Basketball Can Save the World, joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights how basketball can save the world.

Hollander 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. His innovative courses have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, SLAM, and CBS News. He sits on 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.

The Thirteen Principles

1. Cooperation
2. Balance of Individual and Collective
3. Balance of Force and Skill
4. Positionless-ness
5. Human Alchemy
6. Make it Global
7. Gender Inclusive
8. No Barrier to Access
9. For the Outsider,the Other,and the Masses
10. Urban and Rural
11. Antidote to Isolation and Loneliness
12. Sanctuary
13. Transcendence

Get more information on the book here: How Basketball Can Save the World: 13 Guiding Principles for Reimagining What’s Possible

Listen Here:

David Hollander Quotes:

“This game is actually a social institution and an academic institution in my eyes as much as it is an athletic institution. In other words, every coach who is teaching basketball right now, is teaching those young people the exercise of being a better person in the world in a number of ways.”

“We’re in a broken world, broken from political institutions, to media institutions, to educational institutions, to all kinds of, of ways we used to count on . . And so I said to myself, ‘Isn’t there another thing we can look to for a new source of ideas, a new basis of values?’”

“Basketball has always provided me with balance, peace, sanctuary, a way that I right relations with others, a way of integrating my best self and whole self, a sanctuary where the world made sense, and I wanted to see how I could take that and make it a new source of ideas, a new basis of values, a new vocabulary to apply to fixing acutely 21st century problems.”

“I believe you can find wonderful, valuable things from so many different sports. But I believe basketball is especially good at solving human problems because it’s human in size.”

“Because of the spatial intimacy of basketball . . you immediately start thinking about other people, you immediately enter a group of strangers and each of you begins to, as the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natalie Diaz says, enact a family . . you may not know this when you’re playing it, when you’re taught to play it . .you’re building the kinds of skills that makes you a 21st-century problem-solving person.”

“Basketball is a global common denominator. There’s only a few things you can talk about in the world wherever you go [like] love, sex, music, food. Basketball is one of those things. . .So, it’s a remarkable global language.”

“The ideology of basketball is about humans figuring out how to do stuff together. And one of the things we’re not doing well [in the world] is balance, is sharing and appreciating each other’s contributions.”

“This game was meant to give access and belonging to those who weren’t allowed to go on to the fields, that couldn’t afford membership . . they were often excluded.”

“It’s the consistent response of everyone who plays this game, which is it opens your imagination. And when you open your imagination, you can begin to believe that you can do something greater than is in your current reality, which is the challenge of any world, of any society.”

“Basketball . . because of its special intimacy, because they see each other as people, they begin to humanize each other. Basketball . . makes them leave the court as pro-social, pro-active spreaders of cooperation, tolerance and understanding.”

“When you play the game, we feel the safety of being enclosed in . . we know what the rules are, we know where the location is, we know when the game begins and ends . . and this space, allows us to completely explore all the full virtues and vices of being a human being, we can demonstrate our heroism, leadership, cowardice, teamwork, grace under pressure, failure without the consequences of real life, death, hunger, loss. “

“Once you value different types of people, and once you see that none of us are just one thing, that’s positionless. That’s the state of basketball right now. That’s what everybody says is the ideal state. Well, that was always what it was meant to be. Naismith even sat with John McClendon, his last disciple and his most important one in my opinion, and said, ‘Listen, there are no positions here. You attack on offense and you attack on defense and you do it all game and that’s the game.”

“That’s a basketball mentality that comes from seeing people not as positions. Understanding that we can all be something more than we are, different than we are now, which is better than what we were because it’s what the world needs – to be better.”

“Whether I’m someone from a rural community coming to an urban basketball court or someone from an urban community coming to a rural basketball court, we begin to speak that common language . . in that commonly understood space. It is my belief that from there we begin to find, because we have this thing in common, that we can find other things in common and begin to build the world.”

David Hollander Breakdown:

1:00 – Saving The World
6:00 – Other Sports
12:00 – Harmony and Balance
15:00 – Belongingness
21:00 – Isolation and Loneliness
24:00 – Common Sense
30:00 – Strengths and Weaknesses
30:41 – 31:16 – Basketball Immersion January AD 2023
35:00 – Balance of Force and Skills
39:00 – Position and Human Alchemy
44:00 – Being Adaptable
47:30 – Co Create Solution
49:00 – Make it Global
53:00 – Other Levels
1:00:00 – Conclusion

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