the great american hoophoop: the american dream®

by Robin Layton
Foreword by Jerry West

How this dream started This book started out as a crazy vision and ended up as a dream come true. I jumped into a van and traveled to all the corners and everywhere in between of this beautiful country of ours. Places that people told me were so tough and dangerous that they wouldn’t go to in the middle of the day. Instead, I found individuals there who were gentle of spirit and speech and marveled when I asked to photograph their “beautiful” old hoop. They would cackle and reply, “That old thing?” I learned that we are made up of a country of kind and generous folk. What you see in the pages of this book, are all the hoop dreams of every kid that played under this simple altar, the basketball hoop.” – Robin Layton

hoop: the american dream® includes approximately 100 stunning photographs of a wide variety of American hoops, from humble garage and street courts around the country to the open-air White House court. Layton’s photographs offer a breathtaking view of the weathered dreams, fading memories, and future glories hanging from solitary backboards around the country. Her images of hoops run the gamut: some mundane and abandoned, others the childhood hoops of celebrated players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Sue Bird, and more documenting the altars upon which they laid their dreams, honed their skills, and made a first splash in the game. She has photographed hoop shrines like New York’s Rucker Park playground and tiny Milan High (the real-life underdog school that inspired the movie Hoosiers). The large-format color images are accompanied by personal quotes from coaches and players past and present about the game of basketball and the significance of particular hoops in their lives, notably from Mike Krzyzewski, Robin Roberts, Gary Payton, Danny Manning, and Rebecca Lobo among others. hoop: the american dream® is dedicated to Pat Summitt and The Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Pat Summitt and Robin Layton. Photo by Peggy Fitzsimmons

Pat Summitt and Robin Layton.
Photo by Peggy Fitzsimmons

hoop: the american dream® is not just another book about basketball, nor is it another roundup of action photos. It is an artful portrait of an American institution and a poignant vision of an American landscape for anyone passionate about the sport.


* Robin traveled across 35 states:  Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi. Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

* Robin shot over 100,000 images over a period of 9 months

* Coaches and Players who shared childhood memories/quotes in hoop:
15 Women and 16 Men


  • Sue Bird
  • Swin Cash
  • Tamika Catchings
  • Anne Donovan
  • Ann Meyers Drysdale
  • Chamique Holdsclaw
  • Lisa Leslie
  • Rebecca Lobo
  • Michelle Marciniak
  • Kim Mulkey
  • Robin Roberts
  • Doris Rogers
  • Jackie Stiles
  • Pat Summitt
  • Diana Taurasi


  • Rick Barry
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Tom Brown
  • Austin Carr
  • Kevin Durant
  • LeBron James
  • Clark Kellogg
  • Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Gary Payton
  • Bobby Plump
  • Danny Manning
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Bill Sharman
  • Wes Unseld
  • Jerry West