Do you remember linking up with your homies to run 5’s at the park? Running the courts until the lights shut off. Grabbing breakfast burritos after the hoop session and chopping it up in the parking lot after you said you were about to dip an hour ago.
What about that summer you got to hoop with all your friends? The whole squad would squeeze into the coaches car 20 minutes before tip-off. Chris Brown’s “Yo, Excuse Me Miss” would be bumpin’ and the squad would sing every line out of tune, but it sounded flawless to y’all. Then, coach would drop you off in front of the gym. Without warming up a single joint, you and your homies would run the other team off the court. After, you’d sit on the bench for a bit and clown each other before taking off to another game across town. Shout out to them “Duke” boys/girl.
How about college? You went there with the sole intent of playing ball and getting a degree (unless you were a lottery pick). You remember the countless practices, games, and bus rides. All the hard practices with your boys/girls and the cafeteria food you ate after. Then, after four years you look back and it was more than basketball. You met people from different states and countries. You introduced your foreign roommate to 5 dollar footlongs at Subway. Ate instant ramen in your dorm while listening to the Hawaiians jam on the uke. Looking back, you learned more from talking to people from different backgrounds and upbringings. These experiences were valuable and you will always look back on the times you had with your teammates/classmates. Whether it was a party or a bus ride, you realized it all went by so fast.
Video games. NBA Live, NBA 2k, and so on. When you weren’t watching or playing real hoops, you were on the sticks. First, when you were young all you hoped for was a chance to play with your older cousins. Then, you got older and started an actual league with your friends from high school. The type of league that you look back on and cherish because it kept a group of guys together despite the transition into a life that we never saw coming.
Do you remember? Cause I do.
There are so many facets of basketball that can be brought up. These are just a few that have triggered memories in my life that bring happiness. I can go on and on about what basketball has given me, but it would be like reading a Harry Potter book.
This project is for those that may resonate with similar experiences. If you can’t relate then maybe you might close this page and move on. If you can, then that’s dope. You are part of a community and culture that uses basketball as a bridge for human connection.