The 11-time N.B.A. All-Star and author of ''Letter to a Young Athlete'' organizes his books by size. ''Small ones with small ones, big ones with big ones. I'm almost out of room.''

.- What books are in your nightstand?

''Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.'' '' A Promised Land,'' by Barack Obama. ''Writing on the Wall,'' Karem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld.

.- What's the last great book you read?

''The Innovative Stack,'' by Jim McKelvey, a co-founder of Square, tells great stories about how he found success in entrepreneurship and the hard work that he put into the process. This book shows that in order to get an idea off the ground, you have to solve the continuous challenges that arise along the way.

.- Describe your ideal reading experience [when. where, what, how].

I'm wide awake with a lovely backdrop, preferably a beach, or a balcony view of a beach. I usually get my reading done in the mornings. I have my breakfast and make sure that the kids are doing their schoolwork and I sit at my desk and read.

It's usually quiet and it's a great way to start the mind going for the day. I prefer hard copies over e-books only because I like to touch and feel what I'm reading. When I need a reference, it's easier to pick up an old book than to search an e-book.

.- What's your favorite book no one else has heard of?

''Steal Like an Artist,'' by Austin Kleon. In my life as an artist, I'm always looking for inspiration. Sometimes we can get caught up in feeling a certain way about the start of creating that can be a trap. The book has helped me greatly to stay open to influences.

.- Which writers - novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets - working today do you admire most?

Walter Isaacson, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Ryan Holiday, Robert Greene,

.- Who are your favorite sportswriters? Your favorite memoir by an athlete?

''The Winner Within''. by Pat Riley. A former athlete turned analyst, then coach, Pat Riley has a special wisdom on getting the most out of yourself and others.

.- What's the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?

''Grit : The Power of Passion and Perseverance,'' by Angela Duckworth, was one of the books that helped me get through challenges in the championship years playing in Miami. I've recently reread it. ''Perseverance'' is one of my go-to-words and ''Grit'' is packed with great lessons.

.- If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

''Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass'' offers a perspective in U.S. history that is rarely discussed. I believe all of us should read it. It is a dark part of the past, but I think it's necessary to understand that time on a deeper level so that we know the full history of the United States of America.

.- You're organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?

James Baldwin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Barack Obama. I would host them in my home because Texas is lovely in the spring. I would definitely get the best chef I could find. 

The common thread between these three writers would be the experience of Black males in America, from the civil rights movement, where people fought for the right to vote, to the election of the first Black president.

I would listen to the things that they feel are important from their experiences in life and leadership. I would soak in as much information as I could about what it takes to be a great leader.

.- What do you plan to read next?

''Notes of a Native Son,'' by James Baldwin. James Baldwin was such an eloquent voice. He was able to make his ideas sing, and echo, during very tense times. I knew I needed to do more research into him as well as his literary works.

The World Students Society thanks author Chris Bosh.


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