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Monday, March 18, 2013

From Back In The Day ~ A Boston Basketball Story

Flickr photo by Jeffery Turner
Yesterday, my brother and I were visiting my parents. While I'm not really a basketball fan, my parents and brother are, so they had a game on.

Because I wasn't really paying attention, I don't even remember who was playing, but the game ended and then there was some commentary with Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and two other people whose names I cannot recall.

I remember Magic Johnson, because well, it's Magic Johnson and I'll never forget his statement about how black people don't like scones, because I'm all about the scones. But I digress.

Jalen Rose was speaking and my father repeated his name. My father grew up in Roxbury and said that he remembered Jalen Rose's father, Jimmy Walker, from when he was a kid.

My father told us the story and I asked if he'd like to write it up. I thought it would make an interesting post, but I wanted to use his exact words. So in my father's words, with some added emphasis and links by me, here's his story of meeting a future NBA player back in the day.

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One afternoon, when I was a teenager (about 16 or 17) growing up in Boston, my friends and I were in a playground outside Roxbury Memorial High School wanting to play some three-on-three basketball.

There were only five of us, and we were pondering what to do, when a boy about 12 years old approached us bouncing a basketball and saying, "I play like a pro. I play like a pro."

We first laughed at him, but then decided to let him play because we needed another player. The team we were playing against volunteered to take him and he smiled at us and said, "You'll be sorry you didn't take me!"

And we were. He was making shots from everywhere. He was making threes before there were threes.

His name was Jimmy Walker, and he went on to play for Providence College and later for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA. His son, Jalen Rose, played in the NBA and is now a sports analyst for ABC.
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So there you have it. A little basketball history. You really never know what stories I'll dish up for you on this blog! : )


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