MS. REBECCA SHEIR
We'll stay in D.C. for this next story, but we'll move south and east to Barry Farms, where neighbors are coming together over alley hoops, slam dunks and fast breaks. In other words, basketball. The Goodman League consists of about 18 basketball teams that play from June to September. The league draws fans from all over the area. And at most games, right in the front row, you'll find a few devoted fans known as the First Ladies.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Jonna McKone and Emily Friedman caught up with several of the ladies DNice Reeves and sisters Tangie and Tya Travers as they got ready for a big game.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1
These are shoes. You see they have all these gold shingles and see the design there and they're so comfortable. It's nothing -- oh, one thing that can be challenging is you don't wear heels to the game. I mean, it's just a no-no. The girls who do it, you know they're not regulars. You know, they're there to kind of flaunt around. It's a basketball game. I'm just going to do my makeup and get all ready.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1
Yeah, so I'm going to go with a neutral eye today. Games can take a toll on your relationship. Right now, we're going through a tough break-up. So anyway, last summer, I kind of like put him on a pedestal, you can almost say. And I have missed a lot of my games. And this summer, I decided that I wasn't going to do that. Ultimately, it was just like, look, maybe we can pick this back up in the winter.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2
Hello. There's my sister.
A first lady means that we have been coming down there for years. So we kind of earned this title.
(unintelligible) own the world.
It makes you feel like, you know, you're expected. You're presence is wanted and expected.
D, so she's the original first lady.
You can hear, she has a raspy voice.
MS. DNICE REEVES
This is what we do. We're going to be there. You're going to see us on the front line.
And when I first went there, of course we didn't have our designated section. I was sitting in the bleachers like with everybody else.
I was about 19, 20. It was a social thing for me, the very first time it was like, wow, all these people in one place having all this fun? But then one day, I won't forget, pow, slam dunk and then to be up close, live and personal and see somebody jump that high off the ground, it was just like, I'm in love.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1
Oh, look at the First Ladies and the Goodman girls, stars in the (unintelligible) royalty.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3
So you see now what we're doing now is making room, sometimes people be in our spot. But you see they quickly have to, you know, they just have to get it rearranged.
Nine seconds in the half. Time's up. Count it and send them to the line.
MR. CLARENCE LANCEY
My name is Clarence Lancey (sp?) and my name on the basketball court is Show Time. I am the oldest one in the league. I'm at 47, but I feel like I'm 18. You know, when I get out there on that floor, I feed off my fans. And when you come to see me play, I give you what you're looking for.
Stop and (word?) second half way over the top.
So Miles is the guy over here on the mic. He's following the game. He's the commentator. He's the comedian. He's the CEO. He does it all. So right now, he's sitting half court directly across from where we sit. So we can go over and say hi to him if you like.
Yeah, I can look in one section and tell you what these guys would be beefing with each other in four to three hours or four hours, however long we're in here. All of that squash and they will watch basketball and go home, and we come back and we do it again. That's the best part.
We love all the players. But then there's ones that don't give us their all, yeah, we talk about their kids, their family. But that's how we got to get them excited, get them riled up. It's street ball, so we got to get them street talk. I mean, like, "Hey, we come out. Get out there and run."
Yeah, Percy. The court that we're playing on now is like a full NBA Nike-style court. We used to play on hard concrete with chains. There are no nets. You know, like, it came so far. And you got to give your thanks to Miles because if he ever had given up on this league, it wouldn't be where it is today. Everybody is showing us love, and we get that love because of the commitment.
I know I feel special, like I have a special place in the gates. We all do.
That's our song. This is the theme song.
For more on the Goodman League and its schedule as well as pictures of the First Ladies, visit our website metroconnection.org.
Up next, we chat with one of our literary neighbors as we continue our new series, "Bookend."
MR. H.G. CARILLO
One of my teachers was asked why are things so different between this novel and that novel. And her response was, I wanted to do those things, I just hadn't taught myself that.
It's coming your way on "Metro Connection" here on WAMU 88.5.
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