An inspirational look at a diverse group of popular American sports figures and how they found success in sports and life. Young athletes all dream of what they might become. They might see themselves as a soccer player racing through defenses at the World Cup, as a hockey player scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final, or as a figure skater in the Winter Olympics. But to get there takes hard work, dedication, and passion. In The Reason We Play: American Sports Figures and What Inspires Them, Marc Bona profiles some of the nation's top athletes and sports personalities from the past several decades to reveal what it takes to make it in the world of professional sports. Along with fascinating accounts of the sports figures' lives and careers, Bona includes, in their own words, what motivated them, what obstacles they overcame, and even what books they loved to read when they were young. Featuring athletes such as soccer icon Kristine Lilly, basketball star Victor Oladipo, and softball phenom Cat Osterman, The Reason We Play has something for everyone. From football to rodeo, baseball to racing, the front office to coaching, the subjects all share a common trait of excellence on and off the field.
Marc Bona is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in newspapers, the last eight as a features writer for cleveland.com, the digital arm of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's daily paper. He has roots in sports writing, having edited and covered a variety of sports. He is the author of The Game Changer (2018) and has assisted other authors on several nonfiction sports titles.