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Unable to shake stigma

By James Still
On November 3, 2010

Growing up in the city of Detroit isn't as bad as people make it seem. At a young age, I fell in love with the sport of basketball and I knew I couldn't play it unless I stayed in school.

I was always taller than the other kids growing up so basketball was not that hard to me. However, I did not make my middle school team at Ann Arbor Trail until I was in the eighth grade. Then I graduated from there and went on to high school at Detroit Community.

I played all four years, became a basketball star and received a full scholarship to Providence College, which is in Rhode Island. I played ball out there for one year.

Basketball is much different in Detroit than in Rhode Island. I realized that they don't play as hard as the athletes in Detroit, and it's probably because they are not from a rough neighborhood.

Some people from Rhode Island view Detroit as a pleasant place to find basketball players because of their mental and physical toughness, and I agree.

I love the city of Detroit because my family and friends are here and there is no better feeling than playing the sport you love in front of your family and friends.

Some things I dislike about Detroit are the crime rate and the drugs.

In some areas, it is very dangerous to even be outside playing basketball at a local park.

In Detroit, there are many great athletes but most of them never get to make it because they get involved with crime or drugs. It's sad to see good talent go to waste due to drugs and violence.

Most people expect people from Detroit to be "killers and drug dealers." Some people labeled me that way when I went to Rhode Island.

Even though I played basketball, some still thought that I was a criminal, and I understand why they would think that because when you turn on the news that's all they talk about. They hardly ever talk about the good things that go on in Detroit.

All in all, Detroit is a good place to recruit basketball players because we're tough mentally and physically and we're willing to work hard in the classroom - and even harder on the court.

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