The Real Game

I like to think of myself as a story collector. For me there was always a narrative that went along with my photographs. There was a story behind it. Whether it was my own story about the making of the image or the subject's story or the history of the place I was shooing, there was always another element to it. Writing has always been something that I have respected and admired and deep down maybe I wished I was a writer. Well this week I have been on assignment writing a piece about basketball in New Orleans. Specifically the history of basketball in New Orleans and how the love for the game has had a positive impact on peoples lives, particularly in a post-Katrina environment. I have met some amazing people and been touched by the stories I have collected. Basketball is an amazing tool to spark change in peoples lives, it has the ability to open doors within that you never knew existed. I have been an athlete all my life and played baseball in college. The lessons I have learned from sports have stayed with me for life. I had the privilege growing up of playing in organzied leagues and in school and college, I was was a captain and all star so I was also able to appreciate what it means to be a leader and to set an example for others. I also understand sports because I played, I have first hand knowledge. In recent years as I have dove into the artist aspect of my life, I have disconnected from sports, except for boxing which I will never let go of. The current state of sports today makes me sick to my stomach, the greed, the money, the drugs, the lack of team and camaraderie. The truth and heart of sports is alive and at its rawest realist form on the playgrounds and streets. Turn off the tv, stop paying half a weeks paycheck to sit in a stadium and watch multimillionaires "perform" who don't have heart, instead, walk to your nearest neighborhood court, field, gym and sit down, watch the kids play. Root for them, cheer them on, you will watch sports as it was meant to be, its original form. The real game lives in the 16 year olds for whom the game is their heart and soul, it is all they think about, they walk onto their court like they are a hero. They are my heros. It is so refreshing and inspiring to see these kids play and watch first hand the power the game has and its ability to save lives. Basketball and sports keep us pure, honest, they save part of our souls from rotting and being corrupted by everyday life.