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Hoop Dreams

BY CERISE HENZES

The familiar squeak of Nikes on parquet coupled with laughter bouncing off the painted concrete walls of a gymnasium sends me directly back to recess, the highlight of my elementary-school days. But I’m not in my third-grade gym. I’m at the Visitacion Valley Middle School, participating in a weekend program run by Real Options for City Kids. ROCK, as it’s known, helps children aged 6 to 14 develop social skills and healthy habits such as exercise and studying. “Because of the neighborhood and the violence that occurs here, we are trying to give positive opportunities for the kids who live in this area,” says Curt Yagi, ROCK’s program director.

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