Here is #002 in my series of basketball hoops in the wild. This one is in a neighborhood just south of the Diamondbacks stadium. One of the few places in downtown that haven't been largely gentrified, there is a strong Hispanic population. Typically you'll see more people playing a game of pickup soccer than hoops, but the court is perfect for evening runs. I'm a fan of residential areas providing the setting, and thus the theme, for a basketball hoop. It takes on the tone of the neighborhood, giving further personality and story to the court itself.
This is the first photo in a new series I’m doing. I’ll be featuring basketball hoops out in the wild, all wholly unique in their setting and context, yet exactly the same in their purpose.
As a kid from Indiana, basketball holds a very special place in my heart. It’s a game that I hope to continue playing well into my old man years (which reportedly begins around 35 according to any teen and their unsolicited opinion) and beyond. The thing I love most about the game is its contrasting nature. You can play with 9 other people, or by yourself. You can play inside a pole barn (again, I’m from Indiana, so this is something I’ve done many times) or in a fancy college gym. I’ve played with people of all shapes, sizes, and races. I’ve seen players that are 5’2” make a fool out of others a foot taller than them (raising my hand, for I am 6’2”). The game is therapeutic yet intense.
The components of the game create a level playing field, skills notwithstanding. I’ve played on hoops next to the cornfields of Indiana, on top of parking structures under the Phoenix desert sun, and in the slums of South Africa. The rim is the same height, the hoop is the same diameter, and the ball (usually) has the same feel to it. To quote one of my favorite movies, “I think you’ll find these exact same measurements in our gym back at Hickory.” I’m not sure where this series will go, but if it continues to take me to these gorgeous basketball courts strewn throughout this wonderful city I call home I’ll be fine.
This is Christian. I met him three years ago, but only really got to know him about two years ago. One year ago he moved to San Diego. A week ago he camped with us. I wonder what his life—and our relationship—will look like a year from now.
Relationships have such a weird structure to them the longer you know someone. There's an ebb and flow prevalent in every relationship, often making those within it uncomfortable. I'm thankful to know Christian because the ebb and flow of our relationship is as authentic as he is.
That's all too rare.