Dave Ungrady is the author of four books on sports. The 2003 release, Tales From the Maryland Terrapins: A Collection of the Greatest Stories Ever Told, was a Nielsen Book Scan best seller for sports non-fiction.
"Dogged research...has yielded a well-rounded portrait of Bias and those who are trying to make sense of his death. A cautionary sports tale that shows how one life unexpectedly ended can affect so many others."
Kirkus Reviews (read more)
The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias
GoGrady Media, 2011
Len Bias was a two-time ACC Player of the Year from the University of Maryland when the Boston Celtics made him the No. 2 pick in the 1986 draft on June 17. Two days later, he died of cocaine intoxication. Along with the recent Penn State scandal, it was one of the biggest, most-tragic college sports stories in history.
Bias's death drastically changed the lives of those who knew him and loved him, changed the lives of many who knew of him, disrupted the University of Maryland athletic department for years, forced major changes in drug laws and altered the destiny of the Boston Celtics.
Born Ready: The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias, examines the complex legacy of Bias's life and death over 25 years. It's the first book written about Bias in some 20 years. It is self published in cooperation with CreateSpace.
The author talked with Bias's former teammates and close friends; former University of Maryland athletic department employees and athletes; Celtics officials and those who worked with them; and those directly affected by federal legislation enacted as a result of his death. Ungrady portrays a Bias who was loved and adored by those who knew him but who at times struggled with his status as one of the most gifted basketball players of his generation.
The book humanizes Bias's legacy through the thoughts and actions of those most affected by his death. Teammates offer a range of perspectives: John Johnson calls Bias an angel; Speedy Jones says Bias's death made him a better person; Derrick Lewis uses the Bias story to teach his high school students about the perils of drug abuse; Terry Long, who was with Bias when he died, still refuses to talk about Bias's death. Further, former high school coach Bob Wagner thinks about Bias every day and Johnnie Walker, a Bias friend and mentor, still feels partly responsible for his death.
Tales From the Maryland Terrapins:
A Collection of the Greatest
Stories Ever Told
Sports Publishing, 2003 & 2014 (rerelease)
Tales from the Maryland Terrapins – a Nielsen Bookscan best seller in sports non-fiction in December 2003 – relives the most profound memories from more than 100 years of athletics at the University of Maryland in College Park. The book includes a series of first-person anecdotes that reflect the joys and challenges of Dave's athletic career at the school as well as the rich history of collegiate athletics at Maryland.
While it was still the Maryland Agricultural College, the university staged its first intercollegiate athletic competition in 1888, playing baseball games against St. John's College and the Naval Academy.
The first organized competition for football was in 1892. The athletic program began to flourish early in the 1900s. Men's basketball began shortly after the turn of the century, in 1904, and men's lacrosse began in 1910. Women's sports such as basketball, rifling and soccer started as intramural sports in the 1920s, and basketball started about 20 years later. The women's rifle team won several titles after it was first organized in 1922.
By the 1940s, the men's intercollegiate program boasted such national-caliber programs as baseball, boxing, football, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer. Women's teams started competing intercollegiate competition in 1960 and later blossomed during the last quarter of the 20th century.
The book reflects on sports at Maryland through 2002, the year Maryland won its first men's basketball national title.
Re-released in 2014
Legends of Maryland Basketball
Sports Publishing, 2004
The book features more than two dozen former prominent University of Maryland Terrapin players and coaches, including men and women who played significant roles in developing one of the most storied college basketball programs in the United States. Others are recognized with a poetic tribute.
The University of Maryland sent a varsity team to the court for the first time in 1923 and now boasts one of a handful of high-profile college basketball programs in the country. The team appeared in 11 straight NCAA tournaments between 1994 and 2010, and captured its first NCAA title in 2002. During its cherished history, Maryland has won three Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships and four regular-season conference titles. Before joining the ACC in 1953, the Terps won two Southern Conference Tournament titles.
Legends in the book include early 1930s star Bosey Berger, Maryland's first basketball All-American; three time All-Americans Tom McMillen and John Lucas, who helped revive the program in the mid-1970s after a decade of mediocrity; former head coach Gary Williams, who guided the Terps to the NCAA title and was a scrappy guard for the team in the mid-1960s; former College Player of the Year Joe Smith, one of the most pleasant surprises in the history of the program; former head coaches Bud Millikan and Lefty Driessell, who guided their teams to conference titles and periods of prominence; and former women's head coach Chris Weller, one of the most prominent and successful pioneers in women's college basketball history.
Unlucky: A Season of Struggle
in Minor League Professional Soccer
Sports Publishing International, Inc, 1998
The book chronicles the adventures of minor league soccer in a way that has never been done. Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer, follows the adventures of the Fairfax, Virginia-based Northern Virginia Royals, which made its debut during the 1998 season.
The Royals played in the D3 Pro League of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues, the lowest level of professional soccer in the United States at the time. Players in D3 can be paid, but the Royals players received no financial compensation for their efforts. Most worked full-time jobs while playing for the Royals.
The book is a behind-the-scenes and honest account of the struggles athletes endure at the minor league level. In "Unlucky", the reader will be exposed to the grit and sacrifice a minor league soccer player must endure.
The author, a former collegiate soccer player and track athlete who turned 40 in 1998, also trained with the team with the hope of playing in one game. Part of the book documents his struggle to stay fit for his professional debut.