Here, a very big and nice gym.

There, unpaved streets and no referees, just kids jumping into hoops, sometimes with sneakers, sometimes barefoot.

Aquí, hay un gimnasio muy grande y bonito.

Allá, calles sin asfaltar y sin árbitros, sólo chicos saltando al aro, a veces con zapatillas, a veces descalzos.

Here, a great fan base cheers the team on a lot while they watch the game time clock.

There, only a few people on the calle who see them and they say, “tu no sirbe, mi equipo es mejor

Aquí, tienen una gran afición que anima mucho al equipo mientras miran el cronómetro del partido.

Allá, son pocas las personas en la calle que los ven y no hay ningún reloj donde se pueda ver la hora del partido.

Here, they play with new uniforms, ball, and shoes.

There,  they play with old and used things.

Aquí, mientras aquí juegan con cosas nuevas como uniforme , pelotas y zapatos.

Allá, juegan con cosas viejas y usadas.

Here, they prepare their bodies a lot physically so that when they touch them they will not be distracted.

There, they only play for fun, they are basically not prepared.

Aquí, preparan mucho su cuerpo físicamente para que cuando los toquen no se les derive.

Allá, sólo juegan por diversión, básicamente no están preparados.

Here, they play with new uniforms, ball and shoes.
There,  they play with old and used things.

Aquí,mientras aquí juegan con cosas nuevas como uniforme , pelotas y zapatos.

Allá, juegan con cosas viejas y usadas.

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November 28, 2023 3:17 pm

Dear Carlos,

I am excited about your poem contrasting playing basketball in DR and here in Brooklyn because you are exploring the socioeconomic differences that cause people to migrate, but you are doing it through the sport you love.

One line of your poem that stood out for me was your original title, “Low League or High.” I think this is fascinating because I have read a lot of your writing at this point and it’s the first time you have chosen a truly original title, that you have to read the poem before you understand the title.  It is like a hook for my attention; I think to myself, “What does he mean by ‘low league or high’?”  I also love when you incorporate Spanish into your poem and use italics to show the language shift: “tu no sirbe, mi equipo es mejor.”  This is vivid imagery because I can hear the taunting on the streets of Santo Domingo, where I have never been before.

Your writing connects to my own experience. For me, I have taught for 20 years and so many of my students have been from DR and loved competition through sports.  They have all been talented athletes, but you may be my student that shows the most potential in two sports and I’m excited to see where life takes you.

Thanks for your work on Youth Voices. I look forward to seeing what you write next because your writing begins in Spanish and then we translate to English and continue working on it; when you write in this way, there are certain phrases that are particularly simple but vivid and beautiful.


November 28, 2023 3:15 pm

Dear Carlos,
I am <interested in knowing what the change was like to play in a country with different customs. How long did it take you to adapt? Since your poem is about the contrast in playing here and the big difference there is in playing in your country because you commented that in the DR they played just for fun and without any public that got excited and that they used old and used things, while Here everything is very different and more exciting.
One line from your poem that stood out to me was: “You’re no good, my team is better.” I think this is a lot of fun because it’s a way to cheer on your own team in a way that makes fun of the competition.

Your writing connects with my own experience. For me, there was also a contrast for me to see the excitement of the games at school and cheer on the team.

Thank you for your work at Youth Voices. I hope to see what you write next because I really liked your story.

November 27, 2023 8:16 pm

Dear Carlos,
Your post made me think of how different basketball is played around the world. Many are out here in the parks, or the streets as shown. There are many styles of regular street ball, or organized play and it just made me realize how the game has spread. Something I wonder is what is your position on the sport, what do you think about it?

Alejandro Jimenez

November 27, 2023 8:12 pm

dear, carlos your post made me think how basketball is very important to lots of young kids. Something i wonder is how is one of the pictures there is a young kid with a jersey, how did he get that?

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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