As Paul Rubincam points out in the foreword to Jumping Through Hoops: Why Penn Wins, this book is about a lot more than Penn basketball. In a compact but compelling way, Dr. Harold Gullan intertwines the unique history of the University of Pennsylvania with that of Philadelphia itself—and the overall state of intercollegiate athletics today.
As the author reflects on a typical season of Penn basketball (which turned out to be anything but typical), Jumping Through Hoops becomes really far less about why Penn wins than why Penn matters. Gullan’s book is a sharp, affectionate celebration of Penn’s fidelity to the true mission of college sports—to provide rigorous preparation for life. That this notion seems almost quaint is a measure of how far we have fallen from the ideal.
Jumping Through Hoops is enhanced by the contributions of Steve Danley, a perceptive Penn student who happens to play basketball, and Mike Mahoney, Penn’s director of athletic communications—as well as some great photographs. Like Gullan himself, his book is always thought-provoking and often funny, and will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers, whether they are basketball fans or not, and wherever they may have gone to school.
About the Author
Harold I. Gullan, Ph.D., is a distinguished historian whose previous books include The Upset That Wasn’t, Faith of Our Mothers and First Fathers. Gullan lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in Philadelphia.