Summertime showdown is a classic

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NATCHEZ — Ten-year-old Paris Issac Jr. issued the challenge.

Isiah Francis — older and not to be trumped by a mere child — accepted.

“I bet I can beat you in basketball,” Issac said.

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“I bet you can’t,” Francis, 12, said.

The result was summer at its best.

As the sun glared down on the smaller basketball court at Concord Avenue Park around 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon the two four-foot-tall athletes set out to find out who was the best.

They tangled arms as they maneuvered round the court with Issac playing commentator.

“He shoots,” said Issac, as he attempted to add points to his side of the invisible scoreboard that recorded no numbers.

“And he blocks!” he then added as his opponent closed the distance with offense.

The temperature seemed to soar along with the imagination of the two boys as they called fouls, ball checks and their turn for free throws.

The sun slowly tilted the angle of the shadows on the half court as the boys played on, locked in a concentration that is only found in fun and unfortunately lost with age.