Key Idaho Sports Stories
By Dave Goins
If you happen to be an Idaho sports history junkie with a penchant for stories of big-name athletes who have competed in the Gem State, or if you’re just in the mood for some charmingly obscure sports anecdotes, Myron Finkbeiner’s The Cornerstones of Idaho Sports (Resilient Publishing, 2014) should make your must-read list.
Finkbeiner, a longtime coach and founder of the Boise-based World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, did his research. I found myself chuckling quietly while reading Chapter 26, “Outlaw Basketball, City Basketball in the 1940s.” As the author notes, it isn’t about prison basketball leagues, but about an oddity of small Idaho towns that happened well before my time. I began a local sports-writing career in Nampa in 1979, but I’d never heard of outlaw basketball. I won’t spoil that story for you, though.
If your curiosity about Idaho sports extends only to, say, the last thirty-five years, Cornerstones might not be your cup of tea. But the book accomplishes what its title suggests, detailing the historic foundation of sports in the state, including stories of famous athletes.