1001 Black Men–#275

Placid and contemplative in his demeanor, this young man seemed to be at that stage when his bulk hadn’t quite caught up with his height. At least 6 feet tall, but no more than 15 years old, the young brother in this picture was slim in that way that only teenage boys can be; but his broad shoulders gave me the distinct feeling that he was going to get not only taller, but also a lot thicker. I saw him strolling down Telegraph Avenue near the Benjamin Moore paint store, accompanied by several other teenage boys of varying heights, most of whom were in athletic gear. From the looks of their shorts and shoes, they were probably coming home from an after school basketball practice. Of all the kids in this group, the young brother in this drawing looked the most like someone for whom college hoops might be a possibility. If he was truly as young as he looked, he might have as many as 10 more years of growing left to do. A young Shaq or LeBron in the making? Only time will tell, but it would be an awful lot of fun if–say–5 years down the road I caught sight of him playing in a March Madness game and remembered he and his group of aspiring hoopsters, laughing and joking with each other as they headed for home (?) on a chilly mid-December afternoon.

Ajuan Mance

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