I was at a BHA Unity Day in Charlestown yesterday. Just as I was about to leave they announced a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. I can't pass up a basketball game, so despite having walking shoes and jeans on, I picked out a couple of the kids to form a team and entered the tournament.
I was honored when the director asked us for a name to our team, and the kids said "how about the McCrea's?", I said "are you sure" and they said yes, it would be an honor to play with the future councilor or mayor or whatever. It is amazing to me how these kids whom I've never met who live in the projects wanted to be associated with me so closely, instead of being the BALL BOYZ or Hoop Dreams or something. I think it shows the craving for attention that is so lacking, that if you do give the people even a modicum of respect and time it will come back to you tenfold.
To make a long story short, we lost the first game 11-3, but then won 7-1, and 7-2 to move onto the best of 3 finals where we won in two straight games, 7-4 and 7-2. I had a few game winning shots, showed some hustle, but my 38 year old body can't do what my 38 year old mind remembers my 20 year old body doing. It was a great time, but I was dying during and after the tournament, begging for water.
I'm going to go and play with Donovan Walker this week, who I saw at the carribean parade. Apparently he tried to get in touch with me but couldn't so he teamed up with Matt O'Malley. Kudos to Matt for stepping into the void, but I'm going to go talk with Donovan and see if I can mend some fences. Donovan has been running a successful hoops program trying to keep the kids off the street for years, right on Washington Street next to where the south end baseball league plays at Rice Field.