Keith O’Brien is a former reporter for the Boston Globe, a freelance writer, and the author of “Outside Shot,” a book published this year chronicling one community’s obsession with high school basketball.
He has written for the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, the Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Runner’s World, and the Dallas Morning News. And he has also contributed to several National Public Radio shows, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here & Now, Weekend America, and Only a Game.
O’Brien often tells his wife that he is not a word guy, but evidence suggests otherwise. In 2009, he won the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for a Boston Globe story that he and a colleague wrote about the deaths of two girls in a fast-moving fire. O’Brien has written about the big. His coverage of Hurricane Katrina kept him in New Orleans off and on for a year. And he also loves to write about the small, like his award-winning story about a homeless man whose death went almost unnoticed.
O’Brien graduated from Northwestern University in 1995 with a degree in history and now lives in New Orleans with his wife and two sons.
His first book, Outside Shot, was published last January by St. Martin’s Press. The New York Times Book Review declared it a “reporting tour de force and an utterly gripping account” of the power and meaning of basketball in rural Kentucky. “Outside Shot,” the Times wrote, “unmistakably triumphs.”