The following blog entry is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

On a warm night in June we are hanging out in the boys schoolyard at Holy Name. There’s about twenty of us.


There she goes again.

Talking to another jerk.

Twenty-first street boys think they’re so cool. They’re nothing but clowns with their wife beater t-shirts, ba-ba shoes, slicked back hair and tight, Bo Derek Ten jeans.

Look at them trying to play ball in OUR schoolyard; they don’t even know how to dribble the fuckin’ ball.

But why is she over there on the side talking to Mario? She is, Lori, my girlfriend.

He’s got muscles on his muscles. What a muscle head!

I bet Lori’s mad at me from last night?

I was yelling at her on her stoop and her mom came out and told me to go home.

“WHY DON’T YOU GO HOME!” she shouted as I slammed the gate and walked up Windsor Place cursing out loud.

We fight and argue all the time. I’m so mean to her. I don’t know why I say the things I do, deep down I love her and she tells me she loves me.

We break up every couple of months.

I get jealous when I see her talking to other boys.

A few weeks ago I saw this kid chasing her around while we played coco-leavio and when he caught her he gave her a huge bear-hug from behind. I was so pissed that I ran home, grabbed my Louisville slugger and chased him around the avenue.

Back to Mario and Lori who are standing on the sidelines closest to Prospect Avenue while we are playing five-on-five on the middle court. It’s dark in the yard but the street light on Howard Place gives us enough light to see the hoops.

I’m dribbling up and down the court with one eye on my defender and one eye on Lori and Mario. Why is she so interested in him? Wonder if he knows that she’s taken. That if he tries any funny stuff I’m going off on him.  I can’t stop looking at them; matter of fact one of my teammates throws me a pass and it zips right past me and over towards my girlfriend and Mario.

I jog over to retrieve the loose ball.

As it bounces towards them I reach down and Mario kicks it back to the court before I can get my hands on it. Think Lucy and Charlie Brown when he’s about to kick the football.

“ASSHOLE!” I shout.

Mario looks at me.

“Who you callin’ asshole?” he answers.

“You, jerk-off.” I reply.

Lori looks at me, she knows how jealous I get when other boys talk to her.

“Steven, stop it.” she pleads.

“No, fuck that, I ain’t stoppin’ shit!”

Mario takes a step forward.

“You wanna do something tough guy?” he asks.

I look at him, then at Lori.

“Fuck you!” I scream.

“You wanna go?” Mario screams as he pushes me in my pigeon chest. His strength pushes me back a step or two.

Lori jumps in front of Mario and holds him back.

The players on the court and my friends watching on the side come running over.

A couple of Mario’s friends from twenty-first street start yelling.

“YO, COOL OUT!” I hear a tall, fat kid say. He’s dressed just like Mario. Kind of looks like his twin but could play offensive line for the New York Jets.

My friend Jimmy grabs me and pulls me over towards the church wall.

“Yo Red, take it easy man.”

“Fuck that!” I scream.

I look over and watch Mario and his friends walking towards the entrance of the yard on Howard Place.

“YEAH, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE AND GO BACK TO TWENTY-FIRST STREET!’ I shout as they walk up Howard and hang a right on Prospect Avenue.  Through the fence they scream back at me.

“WE’LL BE BACK,” a kid shouts as they walk up towards ninth avenue.




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  1. Pat Fenton says:

    That’s the book, Steve. Just call it something like “Brooklyn Hoops” and fill it with basket ball tales and growing up . There’s another title to sum it up, “Brooklyn Basket Ball Tales. ” Just string all those stories together about the family life you witnessed in Holy Name Parish in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. And how you came out of it in one piece, and not beat, but smarter. And let it end where it ends. Let it in end in Michigan, And then the real hard part, shopping it around. Read up on how to find an agent, not easy. And start to send it out. It’s the story of your life, and it’s a good one. I don’t say that too often.

    • hoopscoach says:


      You’re the best and a huge inspiration!

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      A good friend out here in Michigan said almost the same exact thing about my book.

  2. Jim Casey says:

    You haven’t forgotten about Morgan, have you ?

  3. Maureeen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    lol, the ba-ba shoes! Great stories, Steve..

  4. jimmyvac says:

    Similar thing happened to my buddy when we were playing ball except he got hit in the face with the ball and his nose was bleeding.. the girl stopped talking to the muscle hole and starting playing Florence Nightingale and he played it up big time… he tried to say he took the ball in the face on purpose but we knew he wasn’t that clever…

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