Learning any sport from a book always has the potential to be a sterile affair, theory being a deflating and unsatisfactory substitute for learning on the practice field.
Part of the widely-respected 'Skills of the Game' series, Basketball is written by England international coach Laszlo Nemeth and aims to stress the fundamentals of the game while offering practical tips and advice to improving one's game.
"The aim of the book is neither to repeat how to start to playing basketball nor is it produced for the top end of the game," states the Hungarian-born coach.
"My target was the "British reality" where a lot of players must do things at mid level for him/herself as well as providing drills for coaches at this mid-level."
In that respect, Basketball hits the mark. Fully illustrated by action photos plus set pieces (featuring Ronnie Baker and Sharon Inchley), the book weaves deftly between the various skills and drills which are applicable to players of any age and standard, complementing them with practical advice on becoming a better exponent.
Starting with the basics of ball handling, to the tactics of offense and defence, via tips for fitness and agility, Nemeth pulls together his personal experiences of coaching in several countries in a clear and consise fashion.
Putting each move in context is never easy, particularly when taking the book onto the floor is an impracticability. But as a companion to hard work and repetition, there's no reason why these pages cannot complement any training regimen whether one is on one's own or with a team.
There's also an outline of basketball's rules and standards, plus a foreword from Britain's NBA ground breaker Steve Bucknall, proving that even those at the top can never afford to stop learning.
rarely boring, Basketball is an ideal extra hand to push those skills