The truth is I was a little scared. We were searched for weapons and told not to pass anything to the inmates or we would risk imprisonment ourselves.
We waited in a small hallway outside of the max security block. All we could hear was the sound of hundreds of raucous inmates on the other side of the block wall.
We were about to play a basketball game against an all-star team comprised of prisoners sentenced for 30 years to life for serious crimes, including murder. I had a different kind of nervousness for this game.
The entire max security block was watching, the court was rough, surrounded by cells overlooking the pavement. The tops of the walls covered in barbed wire. I was a different kind of nervous than I’d ever felt before a basketball game.
It was surreal and more than a little scary to be playing basketball against these men, in these conditions with the guards and other prisoners watching. In that moment, when things were unclear and my vision was clouded by doubt, I had a moment of clarity.