Hittin’ the Jumper

A 60-Year Affair with Basketball


Hittin’ the Jumper is a nostalgic tale of the key role that the game of basketball has played in the life of an ordinary player—from the alley hoops and playgrounds of his boyhood hometowns in Montana to the hallowed halls of Notre Dame and Harvard, white-shoe law firms, and a variety of urban and suburban courts.

Along the journey of telling his story, the author re-discovers fascinating characters and lost worlds in an appreciation of the gifts that playing the sport for a lifetime can bring. Several with whom he has shared the court—teammates and opponents—became famous in politics, business, and academia, and a few were former NBA players. Most, however, were not in the headlines.

Their stories are diverse. Some are filled with humor, others are instructive and insightful, particularly in dealing with the challenges of continuing to play as age encroaches, while a few are tragic. All touched the author as they did their fellow hoopsters through the years.

The author’s basketball life has been shaped by the history, traditions, and ethos of the communities where he played, whether it was the local basketball lore or the prevailing culture of a place. These include the neighborhood of the birth of our country and the site of the birth of the game. The courts in these communities each possess a distinctive character. Some were inspirational because of their historic connections while others simply provided comfort with their familiarity, intimacy, and charm.


"A treasury of stories from Dowdall's decades of play, from participating in high school games and rec leagues to coaching youth basketball and finally competing in the Over The Hill pickup group... Dowdall represents the perfect Everyman baller, intimate with the sport not at its heights but at its grass roots.
An endearing recollection of one man's long career in basketball." -- Kirkus Reviews (December 15, 2016 issue)

... the book is really a journey through the second half of 20th century America, from small town life in post-World War II Montana through Notre Dame, the Harvard Government Dept. and Harvard Law School to top law firms in Boston, New York and Chicago. The famous people who routinely appear--George Pataki, John Corigliano, Twyla Tharp, etc.--add interest, but the book is a kind of testament to the possibilities of being an American. Not to be missed--Hegelian

I only wish that the book was longer, as I hated for the story to end! To me, his work is a masterpiece. Anyone connected to Basketball, as a fan, a coach, a parent or especially a player with a passion for the game, whether they are from the NBA or the local school yard, will love it too!--Amazon purchaser

Profile Photo Patrick Dowdall

About Patrick Dowdall

Raised in Anaconda, Montana, the author is a graduate of Notre Dame, Harvard Graduate School and Harvard Law School. He has been a practicing attorney in major law firms in New York, Chicago and Boston and an entrepreneurial businessman and has written and spoken extensively on legal and business matters. He also has served on the boards of non-profits and an industry-wide professional and trade association. For the past 31 years, he has lived with his wife in Wellesley, Massachusetts where they raised three sons, all Notre Dame graduates. Since the age of six, he has played basketball—ranging from high school competition to senior games and pick-up in a variety of formats, including a group he founded 25 years ago, Over the Hill. Hittin’ the Jumper: A 60-Year Affair with Basketball chronicles his life with the game, the friends he has met and the lost worlds where the game was played.

All books by Patrick Dowdall

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