Posts tagged ‘streetball’

April 14, 2011

Mistakes 143 – a column by Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell

Peace.  (Hats off!)

I would like to thank professor Jeff Hillard, RED! webzine, the family of William Hillard, and others in the community of Cincinnati, Ohio for their support – and, oh yes, also the students in the Sports in Literature course at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

On the matter of reviving my spirit toward writing again: I am human and I had become content with writing for a time in which I focused on myself and my work on the project, “Do You Want to Learn How to Fly” (DYWTLHTF).

DYWTLHTF has been one of my main focal points. I know now that God has placed – not replaced – me, and shown me that there is nothing new under the sun (from Ecclesiastes). Plus, I’m working out on a basically religious cycle. I’m always waiting for them [a team] to sign me to a 10-day contract in the N.B.A. Rob Stone knows that I always keep it interesting.

But, my preparation now is on the near future and to perform something that has never been done before: to slam dunk a ball while jumping over a car in four different decades.

I first patterned this stylized Dunk in the late 1980s (1988), the 90s, 2000s – while being featured on the cover of my friend Bobbito Garcia’s magazine, BOUNCE.  My re-entry into society in 2011 will make it a fourth decade. Fader Magazine, Mr. Cohen, and Rob Stone – here I come, God willing, in 2011.  Do You Want to Learn How to Fly?

God willing, too, I will be in Cincinnati in several months, then after I complete my terms and condition of my parole I will make it my home for a few years.

I want to give the brothas around me their well-defined needs and my highly admiration for allowing me to stay physically fit. They give me a hard time for being so hard on them, with all the working out I do. “Nutcase” (Erin), Keon, Grubbs, Lil’ Joe, N-O, Lamont, L.B., Tips, and my bunkie – they all put up with my early  morning study and preparation.

Highly glorified is my Lord.  Oh, grandma! – I love you. Peace.

Watch out, Kiki: I’ll be home soon.  Smile.

April 5, 2011

Mistakes 143 – a Column by Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell

My “Mistakes 143” column on this occasion takes us to another day at the University of Higher Education and lower learning.  It is the “Other University”.

Imagine this: it seems as though when most things change, most things stay the same. Recently, it was very, very interesting – a lot of excitement in this incarceration facility. The “Camp” corrections officers (C-O’s) found contraband and, so, now guess what?  Sixty-five to 70% of the Camp is drinking as much water as they can.

 Those around me heard of this finding, and they heard that there is a strong possibility that the “whole” camp will be drug-tested; they are dirty. Weed (mostly).

Someone copped to the incident. Gang members usually cop to theirs.

Change – the individual placed so many others in danger. First of all, he placed himself in danger, and then the family of the individual that made the so-called drop.

Maybe I am only one of the only individuals that does not smoke anything – myself and a few others are clear of this debacle. My Bunkie is forced not to; he has two (positive) tests. One more (positive) and he is back to the yard with about four months or so added to his sentence and Camp program discontinued. He is not the only one here that has lost time or is living on the edge.

Fire Camp, as we call this facility, is maybe one of the only facilities that is “free”; that is, it is out in an open space, where inmates have total access to the free world. And in which all races, gangs, and ignorant activities exist. It is different from behind the walls. The other night I saw something I thought was special: N. and S. sharing virtuals together. I said, “Look at that. They are intermingling.” Behind the walls they would run a piece of metal, etc. so far up each other it would take a day for them to take it out (they would attempt to kill each other for something small).

Now, the “day after the storm.” This is late February. Officials tested the whole camp on the related issue of contraband I indicated above. Inmates began to harm themselves by drinking bleach and an enormous amount of water.

It was only about 10 to 20 inmates out of 122 inmates that willingly went up there to test and had complete confidence in a positive test. A nice ratio. Even those that have been tested negative over the last two to three months were in question of their test. An ugly sight: the fact that they have already lost time, and especially knowing they are under mandatory testing. Sad thing.

God has blessed me to stay out of the way and allowed my peers to have the floor at this time. As I say, I am just passing through and I do not want any problems.

I am patiently waiting to be inserted back into the game (hoop slogan) by God, so that I can have The Last Laugh. Oh! God allowed Blake Griffin of the N.B.A.’s Los Angeles Clippers to perform a dunk in the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest that, in fact, I “patented” over 20 years ago. Put me in, coach. I am ready!

I pray that my words are able to reach my column in RED! the breakthrough ‘zine because they are the gatekeepers that I have to pass. I know who is running the show. I am about hope and health.

And, by the way, I still have not seen the Blake Griffin contest-winning dunk. And, too, after the testing, my peers are back in business with the garbage. Half of the camp is on the edge of their seats. Hmmm. Another day at the university.


I thought I closed this message, but in life as I have learned, when the storm comes, it continues. The C-O’s are earning their keep, as today they found more stuff. It’s a pernicious cycle, but I know that God is working in my life.

RED! the breakthrough ‘zine columnist, Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell, is considered by a number of National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) players, All-stars, and peers as one of the greatest players never to make the N.B.A.  A native of Oakland, California, Hook Mitchell, is currently completing a prison sentence in northern California.  While active in the Bay Area as a mentor, coach, youth advocate, and physical fitness trainer, and former legendary streetball player, Mr. Mitchell is featured in the award-winning documentary film, Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius Hook Mitchell.  He is one of RED!‘s most loyal writers and a model of inspiration for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals to observe.

March 15, 2011

Mistakes 143 – by Demetrius ‘Hook’ Mitchell


It’s been quite a long time since I have written words for my column, Mistakes 143, in RED! the breakthrough ‘zine.

It hurts because the editors and staff have been so supportive to me and to my growth over these blessed years.

Over the past seven to eight months, I have gone through certain transitions: from reception in prison to “mainline” (general prison population) to where I am currently – “Fire Camp,” our term for it, a facility in northern California.

Time and knowledge govern my current existence. My kingdom is not primarily affected by the norms of True Society. But, my time and reality are focused on one thing, and that is to be the best possible person that “I” can be,.

I seek knowledge of things such as meteorology, gravity, hydrostatics and dynamics, climatology, hygrometry, and a dozen other sciences involved in my reading. And no man completely masters all of them, yet this relates to only one of the millions of facts in physical nature, which are governed by the One that holds the key to all knowledge and laws. Still, I seek out every piece of information that I can to change “me”.

I will soon be back to the norms of the world, “focused” and changing lives.

In life, mistakes are made (nature’s human inclinations), and out of these mistakes one can make that change and ultimately make a difference in society. That’s where #30 AT is at.

Editor’s Note: Read these early columns by Hook Mitchell.