David Driver authored “Hoop Dreams in Europe”
WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Longtime Washington, D.C. area sports writer and author David Driver is moving to Europe to help people in need.
Along with his life Liz Driver, David will head to Poland at the end of January to help the Mennonite Central Committee respond to the Ukrainian crisis following Russia’s invasion of the country.
A native of the Shenandoah Valley, Driver is the author of “Hoop Dreams in Europe: American Basketball Players Building Careers Overseas,” and “From Tidewater To The Shenandoah: Snapshots From Virginia’ Rich Baseball Legacy.”
According to Driver, about a third of the athletes featured in his basketball book have connections to the D.C. area. He believes that the conflict in Ukraine has had a slight impact on athletes playing basketball overseas.
“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has certainly changed that aspect overseas. I just checked the other day, there are about 40 or 50 American men who are playing in Russia, pro basketball this year, there’s only three or four women,” Driver told DC News Now. “Those numbers would have been much higher in the past three or four years, especially for women.”
Driver features former University of Maryland great, Mystics star and Wizards assistant coach Kristi Toliver in his book. He noted that Toliver spent many years playing basketball in Russia.
While Driver adds that many athletes in other nations overseas are not impacted, those in Russia and Ukraine have been.
“There were a lot of stories in February of Americans trying to get out of Ukraine, some of them basketball players,” Driver said. “The Brittney Griner situation was certainly a very serious one. It intersected sports and politics.”
After many years telling meaningful sports stories in the D.C. area for the Associated Press, Washington Times and other publications, Driver is ready to help those impacted by the conflict in Europe.
“My wife has great skillsets and administrator and hopefully I’ll be able to use some of my communication skills as well,” Driver said.