Terryon Mckinnie shoots a basketball on an empty court in Tiefenthaler Park in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood while a group of men and boys play a hustle on the court beside him. Mckinnie says he would rather practice than join in — there are too many people and Mckinnie, who has a slight frame, doesn’t want to get hurt. But none of that keeps him from dreaming big. “When I see Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play, I want to play,” he says. “It’s my favorite sport.”
Leon was on his way to visit his mother, who lives in the King Park/Park View neighborhood, when he stopped to ask what I was doing in the area. When I told him he said, “Man, there are a lot of stories over here.”
Eric Adamany knows that life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect. Adamany, who was born in Milwaukee, spent much of his childhood in Prairie du Chien after his parents decided to move. He has fond memories of the small city in southwestern Wisconsin where he lifeguarded, trained horses and wrestled in high school, among other jobs and riding bikes with his three younger brothers. “We lived active lives, at least. We made our own fun.” But, eventually, the small-town feel got to Adamany and he moved back to the city. At the time, he felt like he needed to be around more people but wasn’t sure exactly what he was after.