'First Ladies' Of The Goodman League Show Team Spirit | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

'First Ladies' Of The Goodman League Show Team Spirit

Play associated audio
The "First Ladies" of the Goodman League strike a pose at the basketball court in Barry Farms, in Southeast Washington D.C. Pictured from left is Tangie Travers, DNice Reeves, and Tya Travers.
Emily Berman
The "First Ladies" of the Goodman League strike a pose at the basketball court in Barry Farms, in Southeast Washington D.C. Pictured from left is Tangie Travers, DNice Reeves, and Tya Travers.

When you walk through the gates of the Goodman League, peoples' eyes are glued on the basketball players as they rush back and forth on the court, sweaty and tattooed. But there's plenty of other activity going on at the games located in the Southeast neighborhood of Barry Farm. There's quick-witted announcing by league commissioner, Miles Rawls, bleachers full of fans from all over the city and region and the smell of frying fish.

There's another presence at the game you may not expect. Along the midline of the court, three women, sometimes four, sit for nearly every game, in foldout canvas chairs.

They are called the First Ladies. Tangie Travers, of Hyattsville, Md., explains, "It's a respected name, and it came from coming to the games and showing support and showing love."

The women sit among other devoted fans affectionately called the "Season Ticket Holders" (although tickets are not actually required for the game). There are games six nights a week from June until September, and the First Ladies come to almost every single one.

Sometimes the First Ladies travel with the Goodman League teams as they play. Players include teenagers, college players and enthusiastic basketball players as old as 40.

One 47-year-old player called "Show Time" plays on the team, BF Crazies. "I am the smallest guy in the league, but the most effective guy. When you come to see me play, I give you what you're looking for."

The league's reputation for rowdy fans and serious competition attracts NBA players — Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant often returns to his hometown to play in the league — and former players who have since moved on from the League.

On a few occasions, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined the game. "I grew up playing summer leagues in Chicago," says Duncan. "This is great to be able to do the same thing here. Good ball, lot of fun, good break from day to day work."


[Music: "Nike Basketball Freestyle Remix" by afrika bambaataa & hydarulic funk (Album unknown) / "Auld Lang Syne" by Billy Vaughn from Passport Audio on Christmas Songs]

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, August 21

A jazz band performs at a local venue and a play explores the difficulties of surviving the American high school experience.

NPR

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

Thousands of Chinook salmon are struggling to survive in the Klamath River, where waters are running dangerously low and warm. Cold reservoir water is instead going to farms in the Central Valley.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell To Take Stand Again Today In Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will take the stand Thursday for the second day, as defense attorneys seek to emphasize how the Republican's relationship with Jonnie Williams did not involve extending special treatment.

NPR

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.