LifestyleStacy M. Brown

Former Basketball Standout’s New Book Teaches ‘Fun Way’ to Play

Jenarie Davis-Middleton is a self-described unconventional writer who likes to share life experiences.

A wife and a mother of five, Davis-Middleton noted that although her schedule is hectic, she tries as often as possible to incorporate quiet time to clear her thoughts. And to write books.

Davis-Middleton has penned “How To: Play Basketball the Fun Way,” a 122-page book accompanied with a host of photos that provide intriguing lessons on fundamental and expert-level hardwood acts like the two-hand chest pass, shooting a set shot in the face of a defender, how to rebound and play defense properly.

“When you think of defense in basketball, what comes to mind? For me, playing defense was my favorite,” said Davis-Middleton, a standout player in middle school, high school and college. “Playing defense prepared me to score on the offensive end. It’s exciting when you can stop the other team from scoring.”

It wasn’t until she was 12 years old that Davis-Middleton said she learned how to play basketball.

“I didn’t know how to shoot or dribble the ball,” she said, noting that her father, the musician Aaron Teel, taught her the importance of timing. “Timing the ball is an art. If you can time the ball right, you can steal the ball from other players any time. It’s not too difficult. All you have to do is have fun.”

The book details just how to time the basketball — always make sure you swipe at the ball with an open palm, hitting it upward with your fingertips.

“Never swipe down,” Davis-Middleton explained. “If you do, the referee will most likely call a personal foul.”

Divided into 11 chapters and including a page on basketball terminology, a court diagram, and a bonus feature on how Davis-Middleton earned a scholarship to Jacksonville University in Florida, the book is a comprehensive tutorial on playing basketball, but getting the most fun from the game.

Davis-Middleton’s journey toward publishing the book began in 2002, during her junior year in high school. She said Teel and her mother Stephanie Teel were inspirations. Her father urged her to “write things down,” and her mother wouldn’t allow her to quit.

“When I was in college when I first felt weak, my mother left me handwritten notes,” Davis-Middleton recalled. “She gifted me with somethings during those tough moments that I still have today. I promised that I’d stay focused and finish school, and I did. They helped me become the woman I am today.”

Davis-Middleton said she also learned her basketball skills by watching NBA games.

“Every chance that I had, I practice and learned from watching players like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant,” Davis-Middleton said. “My dad and uncle taught me everything about the basic skills I needed to get better.”

She added that she needed all the encouragement she could muster initially trying out for the Jacksonville University Dolphins. Before trying out, Davis-Middleton sprained her ankle.

“I drove to tryouts barely able to press on the gas pedal, but I ignored the pain and continued,” she said.

Before she arrived home from tryouts, the university coach had called her family with good news.

“Mommy and Daddy hugged me so tight, and we cried together,” Davis-Middleton said. “Life experiences will teach you how to maneuver in society. Education improves your scope of thinking. Experience and education ties in together.”

To purchase “How To: Play Basketball The Fun Way,” go to To learn more about Davis-Middleton, go to

Show More

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker