FanPost

GV Article

An indepth article on Greives Vasquez. Its an amazing read. Here is the link.

 

The stairs that climb into another desolate barrio begin next to a concrete wall splashed with red spray paint. A capital "S" and an "í" converge to serve as an affirmation. Yes. Left over from President Hugo Chávez's 2006 reelection campaign, Sí served as a means to foster loyalty among youth voters in return for all that Chávez had accomplished so far. He had rebuilt many of the outdoor basketball courts in barrios all across Venezuela's capital -- new paint jobs, new backboards, new rims, new nets, new fences.

In Caracas, the word stands for strength and promise and unity, a reward for patience shown. But here, patience remains in short supply.

Concrete gives way to crumbling orange brick and littered tin roofs. Tangled extension cords funnel electricity from the municipal lines down below, into parts of the city the government doesn't service. Barrios build vertically; the standard of living falls as the incline steepens.

The noise, though, grows with each step on this mid-August afternoon. Out of an unfinished home, salsa music blares, interrupted by the concussive bounce of a basketball. Inside a rectangular, 12-foot high, chain-link fence, six teenagers play: three-on-three, make-it-take-it. A 17-year-old named Arangel Carrillo dribbles the ball at the top of the key, sweat dripping off the bangs mopped across his forehead. He drives to his right, charging fiercely into the lane without regard for the pair of defenders swarming in his path. He dribbles once through his legs as he nears the basket, right hand to left, and then the ball is gone, tossed blindly behind his back to an open teammate. The shot clanks off the rim; play continues.

"Oh, yeah!" a voice from above yells in Spanish. "Look at the Greivises!"

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