Heart of Hoop

Journey to the heart of hoop with ESPN's Jim Caple.

As a young man, Bob Dole was a good enough basketball player that he set his sights on earning a scholarship to play basketball at Kansas. He never did, though. While serving in World War II, Dole suffered such horrible wounds that he returned from Europe paralyzed and in a full body cast. He spent three years in and out of the hospital. He nearly died twice. He lost more than 70 pounds. And though he eventually recovered the use of his legs and left arm, his right arm remained so shattered that he couldn't lift it above shoulder height.

Yet Dole still so desperately wanted to play for Kansas that, as Richard Ben Cramer describes in his masterful book, "What It Takes," he would strap that useless right arm to a beam in the family garage and hang there, hoping to straighten it out so he could play basketball again. One day, he dangled from the beam so long that his family found him there unconscious.

Kansas basketball has that sort of power over people.

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