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Former Suns Player Conveys Similarities Between Publishing Novel, Joining NBA

"Ball Boy"
Paul Shirley
Paul Shirley's novel, "Ball Boy."

Trying to make it as an NBA player is an extremely challenging proposition, especially when you’re undrafted coming out of college. And as many aspiring writers can tell you, getting a book published is just as daunting in its own way.

Former Phoenix Suns forward Paul Shirley has accomplished both of those things.

Undrafted out of Iowa State in 2001, Shirley eventually spent time with three NBA teams and 10 teams in places like Spain, Russia and Greece. He wrote about those experiences in the book, "Can I Keep My Jersey?"

Shirley’s first novel, "Ball Boy," has just been published. It tells the story of high schooler Gray Taylor, whose mom moves them from California to a small town in Kansas.

The Show spoke with Shirley for more about how the goal of finishing and publishing a novel came about.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.