Kawhi want to to get back to L.A. to resume his ashy acting career yo!
AAU, African American, basketball, books, culture, documentary, gay, Hoop Dreams, independent film, Isaiah Thomas, LGBT, love, movie reviews, movies, perspective, point of view, racism, Sundance Film Festival
This film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African-American teenagers who are recruited by a scout from St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominantly white high school with an outstanding basketball program, whose alumni include NBA great Isiah Thomas.
Agee and Gates are both from poor, African-American neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. Gates lived in Cabrini–Green, while Agee and his family reside in West Garfield Park.
Taking 90-minute commutes to school, enduring long and difficult workouts and practices, and having to acclimate to a foreign social environment, Gates and Agee struggle to improve their athletic skills in a job market with heavy competition. Along the way, their families celebrate their successes and support each other during times of economic hardship caused from the school change.
The film raises a number of issues concerning race, class, economic division, education, and values in contemporary America.
This film also lets us see the ugly underbelly of the AAU circuit and their shady recruitment practices. For example, Agee was found and recruited to St. Joseph by a “scout” who found him on a playground in the hood, when he was in the 8th grade. Too bad nobody recruited me, 205 ya heard?
adam4adam, and 1, basketball, boston terrier, dating, different, french bulldog, gay, gay fort lauderdale, humor, john jernigan, kevin mckidd, LGBT, manhunt, Miami, perspective, point of view, Ray Allen, sex, south Florida, Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, The Daily Home, the professor, tres leches, Winterboro
I would have preferred to have used one of my better basketball pics. I actually had a few good game pics from high school, from my yearbooks, and one really awesome church league shot that I laminated, that made the Talladega Daily Home…but no, all those were lost during one of our evictions…thanks mom!
When I was still living in Pensacola I perused the “dating” websites in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa and Miami, using them to help me decide where I wanted to move. In Fort Lauderdale, I found this one guy *Mark’s * pic and profile on a couple of sights…and he was (and is) adorable…to me anyway. 5’9 dark-blonde/copper red hair, glasses, slightly nerdy in a good way…picture a 50-ish Kevin McKidd with a slightly sharper nose, aww so cute…
When I got to south Florida and settled in, I quite naturally contacted *Mark via the interweb and asked him out on a date…wait, that’s not right. I might have tried to hook up in a moment of weakness, I was lonely okay? but I was ignored.
Four months pass, and I am online doing some educational research and whatnot and I come across his little smiling-face profile again…and he’s online…it’s about 1 a.m. (what can I say, I have a thirst for knowledge).
So we message back and forth and I make my grand exit, leaving him my email address and blog link and telling him I didn’t want to just sleep with him, I wanted a real date, ya heard?
So *Mark never contacts me to take me somewhere nice like Olive Garden or the Red Lobsters. Yesterday I logged into the two “dating” sites where his profile lurks and left this message:
Hey *Mark…I remember checking out your profile when I lived in New Orleans & Pensacola…and I remember messaging with you late night about a month ago, either here or a4a? I just knew you were going to email me and arrange a date, but nothin’ happened…let me give you my info again, see if something jumps off…my email is firstname.lastname@example.org John Jernigan my blog is johnjernigan.wordpress.com – I play ball at Hortt Park, in Shady Banks…I will be there around 11 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) if you wanted to come check me out, play or be my cheerleader…or if you propose a meet somewhere else I’m up for that as well…holler back
So I get up this morning, take the dogs, walk them around the park, harness them to a tree, and start ballin.’ I am of course looking for Mark everywhere and I’m confident he will be there…and he is. He is sitting with a woman across the park, past the playground, on some benches. Smart move, if he wasn’t going to play ball, bringing a fig bag I’ll call her, a security blanket, is something I might have done myself. Even though my insecurity is screaming at me to put my shirt back on because I’m too fat and pale and old, I persevere, off comes the shirt, and I’m ballin’, the Professor ya heard? ** even though I only look like the Professor when I am about 20 pounds lighter than my current 150**
A group of men have just finished softball practice on the field next to us, there are 3 or 4 tween skate kids wanting to play, so I quickly divide us up and it’s crackin.’ Admittedly I am at my best, uhh I seem to do exceptionally well against inferior competition, but sucks to be them then cause today I’m trying to impress my future husband * Mark. My shot is straight money…Swish Steph Curry…Zing Ray Allen…Pop my ex-bf Steve Kerr. I am watching * Mark out of the corner of my eye the whole time and he’s not being real attentive, keeps talking to that ignorantwoman. I get loud and argue more than I would normally about Kobe’s rapin’ ass and the Lakers with the lone brother on the court, hoping * Mark will wake up and pay attention and notice how masculine and cool his future boyfriend is…but no, *Mark and the Fig go to the water fountain, then turn and geez, they are walking toward the courts. Game time. I run and grab my t-shirt and wipe my face, don’t want a shiny forehead. Wait a minute, * Mark and the Fig are holding hands! WTF!? They are like 50 yards away now…it’s not *Mark, this guy is taller and skinny and maybe 30 years old. I give them a dirty look as they walk past, they are so ignorant.
My picking-up-a-man showoff skills have dissipated. I don’t make another shot, and we soon lose. Dude asked if we wanna run another, but I say No, I’m out, I’m done. I collect my babies and leave. I stop at the Super Saver on Davie and buy a tres leches, and I eat it all as soon as I am on my bed. Well I have my two loyal, constant steady girlfriends anyway…even if they stink a little and need a bath. I curl up with Squeak nestled between my legs and Cricket on my stomach, and we fall asleep together…without *Mark.
*Mark is not his real name*
A power forward I ain’t. Truthfully, not even a point guard. I am a youthful 5’7 (ish) two guard with a decent jumpshot, sometimes. I found this sweet little basketball court in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and started playing again, shaking off the rust and trying to get my groove back. The court is like 100 yards from the beach so I usually go for a swim after. I seriously miscalculated where my skill set is in the process of getting my game back, ball don’t lie ya heard? The problem was, I was rulin’ my court, rainin’ jumpers, teardops in the paint, Kevin Durant ya heard? Granted, my competition was old white men and middle (or elementary?) school kids, but still, my confidance was up. I thought I was way more better than I was.
With my talent shining through and on display, it was time to step it up. Saturday I went to the courts at English Park on Sunrise, across from the Galleria, to run some game. Mistake. Big mistake. Huge. First off, the games run full court, which is difficult, especially if you are a middle-aged man who eats ice cream every night. Add the chain nets and the merciless south Florida sun beating down on me, and I’m in trouble. Oh I failed to mention, there’s some real talent on the court today. I got next with four other dudes. I pick up this light-skinned dread-locked brother, Patrick, who is wearing a Hurricanes t-shirt. He immediately drops a three right over me. My team travels up and down the court about three times, the ball doesn’t remotely swing my way. Patrick decides to post up and clears everyone out so that he can bully me down low. I make effort, a small elbow in his back, hand up and jump when he shoots and scores. Next trip down he spins on me and scores again. The brother on my team who has so far run down the court and shot the ball each and every possession yells “D up motherfucker.”
I know what I have to do and my pride forces me to call for the ball next trip down. Greedy reluctantly passes me the ball and I’m up, they clear out the right side of the court and Greedy is yelling Professor! Professor! as I make my move. Well, try to make my move. I’m dribbling left-handed and try to go between my legs and around Patrick. Patrick swings his left arm hard, knocking the ball out of my hands and also hitting my forearm, hard, fuck, ouch, hard. His fist was closed, it was literally a punch. He dribbles down the court and tries to dunk, missing, so good for that. Greedy shoots again, then in the paint on D I catch an elbow from Patrick. It feels like he broke my nose. As I stagger to the side I am thinking oh shit, my insurance doesn’t kick in for another month. Patrick is unapologetic, he lays the ball up, looks at me and yells “Liberty City motherfuckers.” It’s time to go, as Liberty City is perhaps the roughest and most dangerous hood in Miami or Florida or North America. I try to tell Greedy i’m out but his ignorant ass is already launching a three at the other end. I am proud to say I don’t take off running for my car, I don’t cry and try to look as chill as can be, but as I pull out and look back I am pretty sure I will never, ever return to this specific basketball hotspot. Half of my arm is bruising up. Tomorrow I am going to elbow some 5th-graders and talk shit to some senior citizens at MY basketball court, they better watch out.
Patrick really hurt my feelings