Until he became a Sports Illustrated special contributor in 2016, Alexander Wolff spent 36 years on the SI staff. He has covered basketball at all levels and written from the Olympics, soccer’s World Cup, the World Series, every Grand Slam tennis event, and the Tour de France. SI story assignments have taken him to six continents and to such countries as China, Cuba, Iran, and Russia, and dealt with such issues at the intersection of sport and society as race, gender, culture, the environment, doping, education, law, religion, business, ethnic conflict and ethics.
In addition to The Audacity of Hoop, Wolff is the author or co-author of six other books about basketball, including The In-Your-Face Basketball Book (Everest House, with Chuck Wielgus), one of the first explorations of the playground game; Raw Recruits (Pocket Books, with Armen Keteyian), a New York Times bestseller that examined college basketball recruiting; and Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure (Warner Books), an account of a year spent chasing the game around the globe to take the measure of its impact, and a New York Times Book Review Notable Book for 2002. He is currently editing the anthology Basketball: Great Writing About America's Game, which the Library of America will publish in Spring 2018.
Wolff’s writing for Sports Illustrated has been honored many times, including with multiple appearances in The Best American Sports Writing. In 1996 he and Hoop Dreams filmmakers Steve James and Peter Gilbert collaborated on Team of Broken Dreams, an Emmy-nominated NBC documentary based on a Wolff article for SI that detailed the impact of the Yugoslav crisis on basketball players from the Balkans.
As a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in 2002, Wolff taught an undergraduate seminar called Writing About Sports and the Wider World. In 2010 he delivered the commencement address at "the Birthplace of Basketball," Springfield College, which awarded him an honorary doctorate, and in 2011 the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honored him with its Curt Gowdy Print Media Award for outstanding lifetime coverage of the game
Wolff co-captained the varsity basketball team at Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y., and earned his B.A. in History with honors from Princeton in 1980. In 1977 he stopped out of college to play basketball for a season with STV Luzern, a club team in Switzerland.
In 2006 Wolff and his wife, Vanessa, founded the Vermont Frost Heaves of the American Basketball Association, whose birth and life he chronicled for SI and SI.com. The Frost Heaves and the Indiana Pacers are the only teams ever to win back-to-back ABA titles.
The Wolffs live in Addison County, Vt., with their son and daughter.