Can I Keep My Jersey

By: Paul Shirley


A story about a man who never gave up. He was told he couldn't make it in the NBA and he refused to believe what people said. Then he finally made it and everything was taken by and injury but he didn't stop.

Paul Shirley graduated from Iowa State university and was a basketball player there and he decided he wanted to go on to the NBA (National Basketball Association). He knew he needed an agent and in his search for one he found Keith a really down to earth realistic guy. Keith didn't tell him he could make it in the NBA and he said if he actually made it to the NBA it would be a miracle. Paul for some reason liked that honesty and picked him as an agent. Keith also said that he knew a lot of people in Europe which would end up being a huge thing for Paul as he played in Europe a lot. Paul's path to the NBA started out rough as he did not make an NBA roster and was forced to go to Greece tom play his first year. After Greece he was again unsuccessful in making the NBA. Paul Jumped around from multiple teams over the years playing in the ABA, Spain, and Russia. Paul also had small stints in the NBA he had short term contracts with the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Hornets.

5 Life Lessons

1. " Sometimes even I realize that my life can be amazing" (pg. 25)

2. " NBA teams are generally anxious to keep around as many bigs as possible" (pg.33)

3. " By the time I shuffled to the locker room to assess the damage" (pg. 85)

4. " If he was in the ABA, he would be out there doing dribble relays like the rest of us" (pg. 146)

5. " I signed my copy of the contract exactly twenty-six minutes before our game with the New Jersey Nets" (pg. 273)

My Connection

I really enjoyed this book because it was about professional sports something I am very passionate for. This book was definitely a book that I enjoyed reading. I really felt at home with this book because I made a great connection with the author. His life has been all about sports similar to what my life has been about. He had the chance to continue playing basketball after high school and college and he took advantage of both. Something I plan on doing after high school is playing soccer and taking advantage of the opportunity I have to do something I love. I would recommend this book to someone who loves sports and is interested to see what its like to be a professional athlete. It shows you what life is like when you jump around from team to team just trying to make an impact.