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The Iceman Experience: Memoir of a Harlem Playground Star

by James A. Washington

We went to the playgrounds to find our missing fathers. What we found was the game. It was the only game that mattered in Harlem. In Harlem’s playgrounds we found our guardian sanctuaries, notoriety, and respect. Nothing could replace the alluring pull of high wired fences and asphalt parks. We drowned in the intoxication of a competitive game under the glistening sun amid frantic voices, iron rims, and steel backboards. Everywhere else, basketball was a game. In Harlem it was a lifestyle.

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