When I was a boy, I played basketball in the alley behind our house. Our neighbors put a backboard and basket up above their garage door and we played there year round. In the summer, we had a light out there so we played until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. During the school year, I was out there all the time.
I learned to dribble on the asphalt of the alley. That meant nothing was smooth. Little bits of gravel were on the ball, under my shoes. We painted a key and free-throw line. This was way before anyone even thought about a three-point line. I learned to defend low. I learned the blessing of repetition, shooting dozens of free throws everyday.
Now that I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. for many years, I’m starting to notice basketball hoops in interesting places. Some are typical hoops above a garage door in the driveway. But others are tucked away in unexpected places. The photo of the hoops on this post are behind houses on Logan Circle. They belong to the Kingman Boys and Girls Club but can be seen as you walk around Logan Circle. The fact that there are three hoops there amazes me. I guess there could be three games going at once– because none of these hoops face each other to make a full court.
I’m going to photograph interesting hoops in and around Washington, D.C. If you know of a hoop I should photograph, let me know at JosephRoss20017@gmail.com. I’ll try to find it. I’ll use #hiddenhoopsdc as the hashtag.
Sometimes I need to recover the focus and the joy I had playing basketball on our alley court. This might help.