I had a great time last weekend in my hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota for my 20-year high school reunion. In conjunction with the reunion, I set up a couple of book signings, one Friday afternoon at Little Professor Book Center and one Saturday morning at Court Sports. My thanks to John Meixner of Little Professor and Mark Kubat of Court Sports for welcoming me into their stores. Thanks to some of my classmates for picking up a copy as well.
There was an article in the Owatonna People’s Press last Saturday written by Becky Moore. Here is a link to the story,
I am also copying the story below. Copyright Owatonna People’s Press
OWATONNA — For Derek Wolden, penning his newly-released book was a perfect way to combine his two passions — writing and officiating basketball.
The book, “BasketCases: How Youth Basketball Parents Can Lower Their Blood Pressure and Keep Their Sanity,” serves as a resource for parents and coaches to better enjoy the game of basketball.
“This really fits a need,” Wolden said. “As long as kids continue to play basketball there will be an absolute need for this book. No one’s done this. No one’s diagnosed an educational epidemic of this proportion to make youth basketball a better experience.”
This weekend, Wolden will be in Owatonna for his 20-year high school reunion, celebrating with old friends from Owatonna High School. He also took time to sign copies of his book Friday at Little Professor Book Center and will be at Court Sports this morning.
Drawing from his 10 years experience as a basketball official, Wolden addresses specific issues within youth basketball in “BasketCases” and gives parents and coaches a new perspective — that of a referee.
Wolden covers everything from age-appropriate officiating and the different types of calls officials make to sportsmanship and tips for coaches.
“We all know there’s issues with youth sports and with youth basketball. There’s a lot of problems with officials and parents who are so focused on their own kid they can’t see the bigger picture,” Wolden said. “Because of these factors the experience is often quite negative. There’s no resource like this. There’s nothing geared for the parents and coaches to make it a better experience.”
Wolden actually got into officiating after watching years of basketball as sports editor for the Owatonna People’s Press. It was something he knew he wanted to try when he had the opportunity. After attending a Minnesota State High School League meeting on officiating, he started his referee career officiating fourth-grade girls basketball.
Now, he officiates youth, high school and college basketball, when he’s not working as managing editor at Securian Financial Group in St. Paul.
For a self-financed project, “BasketCases” is receiving national support from the likes of NBA coach Gregg Popovich and NBA official Ken Mauer, who wrote the forward for “BasketCases.”
But Wolden credits the late Sarah Foreman, his high school English teacher at OHS, with instilling enough passion in him to write something of this magnitude. Wolden’s book is dedicated to her.
“I’m really proud of this project because it’s not easy to write a book,” Wolden said. “It’s a big deal for me personally … I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I say, but it is relevant.”