Jason, 16, a gifted athlete and an accomplished youth basketball player scans the court. Three blue practice jerseys highlight his teammates. They are spaced about the half-court with the letters USA in white across their chests. Each talented. Each player is elite. Jason is playing with the best young basketball talent in the United States as a member of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team.
The basketball, moist with perspiration, rests – held captive in Jason’s hands. Tanner, one of four defenders inches closer – crowding Jason. Tanner’s teammates, decked in white jerseys with USA letters in blue, align themselves to protect the basket. Sweat drips off Tanner onto Jason. Jason is unfazed, his body already covered by a stream of salty liquid. The air dampened by perspiration and exerted breathing, emits a stench unique to the arena of sport.