Ben Guest, "Zen and the Art of Coaching Basketball: A Namibian Odyssey" (2021)


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Today I talked to Ben Guest about his new book Zen and the Art of Coaching Basketball: A Namibian Odyssey (2021).

Pressure plays, buzzer-beaters, and mindfulness meditation: A team of teenagers goes for the championship in Namibia’s professional basketball league.

Ben Guest takes a high school coaching gig on the other side of the world. On the first day of practice one of the ten players can’t complete a simple defensive slide. Follow their journey over two seasons as the team loses a heartbreaker in the high school league championship game and then take their talents to Namibia’s professional league, the KBA.

Guest models a different way of coaching: meditation, team-led decision making, and surrendering to what is. This expertly-told memoir includes cameos from Coach K and Bob Knight, and a detour through the Mississippi Delta, until we find ourselves on the biggest stage of Namibian basketball: The KBA Finals.

Paul Knepper covered the Knicks for Bleacher Report. His first book, The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers That Almost Won It All was published in 2020. You can reach Paul at and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.

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