Biography and Sports

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Paddy on the Hardwood: A Journey in Irish Hoops

Rus Bradburd

Why would a successful college basketball coach walk away from a lucrative job in America's most glamorous sport? The burned out Rus Bradburd, enamored with Ireland and its music, took a job coaching in the lowly Irish Super League, but was unprepared for what he found. Perplexed by the small town Tralee's Frosties Tigers--a cast of misfits and underachievers more concerned with their day jobs, Gaelic Football, and Guinness--he turned to traditional Irish music for wisdom and solace.

Paddy on the Hardwood is partly Rus Bradburd's story of his struggle to transform Tralee's Tigers. But it is also the tale of a man making peace with his own life and career.

"No reader will come away from this irresistible, honest, and deeply human account without a profound appreciation for Ireland and the beguiling power of its people and culture. Paddy on the Hardwood is a basketball book, to be sure, but also one about questing and, ultimately, finding. And it's all the richer for how it engages things that seem distant from sports, but in the end aren't so unrelated at all."--Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure

"Paddy on the Hardwood is hilarious, heartbreaking, and touching--I couldn't put it down. I'm an avid reader, and it's the best sports book I've read in a long while."--Jerry West


Rus Bradburd coached at UTEP and New Mexico State University for fourteen seasons. He teaches writing classes in NMSU's MFA program.


". . . a delightful memoir . . . a captivating tale, and only a writer with Bradburd's skill and touch could do it so well."


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"My usual detachment from anything sports-related was overcome by the story of these underdogs trying to make it on a tight budget in a country where basketball is nowhere close to the popularity of basketball in the States."


The Undercurrent, (California)

" Paddy on the Hardwood is as riveting a read as there is . . . a real page-turner."


The Kingdom, Kerry, Ireland

"The story is absolutely fantastic with colorful characters, warm humor, great scenes, real drama and a rich, personal touch . . . this book is a real treat."


Dan Wetzel, Yahoo!

". . . (a) hidden gem of a book..."


Boston Globe

"Bradburd deftly uses the game of basketball as a prism for his honest and lyrical search for self, joy and all good literature, ( Paddy on the Hardwood) moves us to reflect on our own journeys."


New York Press

"Bradburd's book . . . is a fascinating trip."


El Paso Times, TX

" Paddy on the Hardwood was the best book I read in 2006."


Chicago Tribune

“It is (Bradburd’s) brilliantly witty observations . . . that make this such a treasure.”


Irish Examiner

6 x 9 in. 248 pages 12 halftones