Every summer at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, they have a basketball tournament called "Hoops in the Sun" H.I.T.S. But there's something special about this tournament - it's not just about basketball. It's about community, culture, exercise, youth, and most importantly it's a cornerstone of the social fabric which binds the athletic community of the Bronx together every summer (and they also play in other seasons too)
If you ever lived in the Bronx and played basketball as a youth (or older even) it's like a drug that got into your blood and will never leave. It enhanced your self-esteem, it taught about teamwork, effort, resilience, tenacity and disciple. You made friends with teammates who always remained your friends. You learned how to suffer defeat and how to win with class and dignity. You became a man/woman.
You know those things you learn in life that you can't transfer to others, like riding a bike, swimming, skating etc. That feeling of playing competitive basketball is just like that. You only know it by doing it. And when you watch the pros and see their effort and hard-won joy at winning, you know exactly how that feels.
You've been there - done that - and are better for it.
Yes, it's basketball but it's bigger than that.
Hoops in the Sun photo gallery