About the Author
Read an Excerpt
May 28, 1988
The game is on at the park. The stars are out. It’s close to dark.Hoop KingsSOARing in the SKY so high so fly like they Got Wings (it’s like the blacktop is a boxSPRING)Hey, Charlie, you see what he did with that THING! my best friend, Skinny, yells T W I R L I N G andWHIRLINGthe ball so sweet it’s like a bee s t i n g(Ouch!) He just Swished in your Face. Stung you like a can of mace These boys so fly they’re outta SPACE!
C’mon, Charlie, I got next. Let’s hoop, Skinny says, jumping up from the sidewalk. Nah, I gotta get home for dinner, I lie.
I used to play H.O.R.S.E.
against my father, and sometimes I won, but when I tried playing on a team, I’d get too nervous to shoot, too scared of the ball (like the time I missed a pass and got hit up- side the head).
Sometimes, I wish
I was a superhero, superfly like Quicksilver speed-racing down the court sleek as a sports car faster than NASCAR, leaving all my sadness in the dust—far, far away from now.
Wish I could soar score throw down a monster dunk like I was Thor.
Wish I could elevate my name with game so good it’s hall of fame!
Wish I could forget all the pain.
Yeah, that’s what I wish . . .