7/14 Today, I played pickup basketball at Winneba University North campus with my host brother, Prince at around 4 pm. Just as we were approaching the court, I hear a song from J. Cole’s mixtape, Friday Night Lights bumping from a portable speaker. They were also playing Eminem, Drake, and Big Sean. It immediately felt like a familiar scene, almost as if I was transported back to Veterans Park in my hometown of Carson, CA where I used to ball with childhood friends. The dudes at the court were talking about the greatness of Kendrick Lamar, the potential of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the greatest of all time debate between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. The best part was getting to play a familiar game in basketball. I was rusty at first since I haven’t played in over a month, but I was slowly gaining back my confidence. We played 3 vs 3. Many of the games were competitive and the guys were cracking jokes throughout. It is amazing how basketball is so closely linked with hip hop culture that even in Ghana, across the world, we as basketball fans can enjoy a shared culture. It was refreshing to have a breathe of familiarity, especially during this time of drastic change and growth. It has served to ground me and remind me of where I come from. I’ve missed my family and my home a lot lately, but I owe it to them to grow as much as I can while I’m here.