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It’s more than a game

The game of basketball is just a game.

People play basketball every day for fun and exercise, but a group of players talked about what basketball brings to their lives beyond just getting better at the game.

“It keeps us all out of trouble,” Zachary Lewis said. “I’ve made a lot of friends playing basketball.”

The guys love playing basketball, and they love the facility that is the Troy Recreation Center.

“Whoa I love the rec center,” Lewis said. “We play here all the time. We ball til we fall.”

Pick-up games in the basketball gym do a lot for these young players.

“If I wasn’t playing hoops I would be a couch potato,” John Johnson said. “There’s really nothing to do unless you’re out being active. It has a wide variety of sports here. I was very delighted when they opened this place up. One big thing you can do here is make new friends. There’s no restrictions really on who can come and who you’ll meet.”

The recreation center to some is a place to just play basketball.

For others, the recreation center is almost like a second home.

“It’s my favorite place to go in Troy,” Marcus Brown said. “I met all of the friends I’m with playing basketball. It’s a nice place to meet new people. I come whenever I can, usually once or twice a week. I love basketball because I can exercise and socialize.”

Exercising and socializing in a safe place with a positive atmosphere is a priority to parents too, and basketball is a way to do all of that.

“My basketball role model is Lebron James,” Aaron Walker said. “He works hard, and it was just him and his mom when he was growing up.”

Walker’s dad lives in New York, and he said his mom likes the fact that he is safe playing basketball at the recreation center with friends.

“I love knowing that one day I could get famous for it and make money playing basketball,” Walker said. “It keeps me out of the streets and out of trouble too.”

Basketball brought together a group that knew each other just as acquaintances at school and turned them into very close friends.

“I saw them at school, but I didn’t know them real well until we started playing basketball,” Hakeem Penick said. “They’re all pretty cool guys. I basically see these guys everyday now. It’s just fun to get in your own world and test your skills against other people. I like the rec cause it’s a very fun place. It’s just a good place to come hang out.”

Basketball helps a lot of aspects of the players’ lives.

“I’m the best out of all my fiends,” Josh Noel said. “Michael Jordan is my role model because he kept his grades up and did his best at everything he did.”

The players watch NBA players and use their positive influences in their own lives.

They have to make good grades so they can play basketball at school.

The guys are learning about each other, and they’re making new friends.

In the end, isn’t that what basketball is all about?