Copyright 2012 Mayowa Koleosho
“You think you better than us?
You think just cause you made a few hoops you good or something?
We’ll see just how good you are when those legs ain’t good for shit?
Those were the last words he heard before everything went black on him. His attacker stood over him gloating for a few moments before walking off the court. The other ball players stood in shock, it was only after a woman on the street started screaming that one of them picked up his cell phone and dialed 911. What had started off as a pickup game on a breezy Friday night had turned into a night mare for Keenan Ridge. A highly touted high school ball player, many had felt he was the next big thing. As a two time Mr. Illinois winner, he was the top ranked forward in the nation. Colleges had been recruiting him ever since he was a sophomore in high school. Everyone who meant anything in the collegiate basketball system knew of him. His mother had to change their home phone number twice because of the relentless recruiters trying to get Keenan to come to their schools.
He was pretty much a rock star minus the millions of dollars. For a sixteen year old this could sometimes be overwhelming. People demanded much from him and expected nothing less. His high school coach saw him as the ticket to a championship and perhaps an appointment to a better position. His girlfriend saw him as a blank check, one that would come with a lot of zeros at the end. He was constantly surrounded by people who claimed to be friends, when the truth of the matter was that they were merely ‘hanger-ons’, hoping to stick around just long enough to get something out of him. In his world, finding sincere individuals was quite rare. Sometimes he could spot the fakes, but more times than not he was caught up in his own hype. , blinded by the delusions of grandeur.