Couch

Josh Jackson: The Gamer

The next great American sports star, Josh Jackson, is looking for a pickup game. Anyone willing to face him. Just anyone. ... His friend, another future basketball superstar, Terrance Ferguson, was surprised the first time he saw it... He sees it every time he's on the road with Jackson for some All-Star or national-team game. "He just starts asking people if they want to play," Ferguson says. "Anybody. And then he starts playing. "You see that every time—every time—we walk past a random chessboard."
Couch

The Meteoric Rise of Sudden Heisman Front-Runner Lamar Jackson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Just like college football defenders, you probably didn't see Lamar Jackson coming. And if you did, you had no idea he was coming this fast. To watch him play is to see him right in front of a linebacker—then something happens. And just like that, he seems to be two feet to the side of the defender, who is still looking straight ahead. It's as if someone moved a game piece when you weren't looking. So Jackson flies past.
Couch

How Missy Franklin Went from Olympic Darling to Olympic Underdog

It's not how it worked for Franklin. Her narrative has changed significantly since London, from flying high to self-doubts and now back to the same place we left her: the Olympics. For her, this trip to the Games wasn't the same fun ride; this time was about grind and courage. By this past spring, Franklin was swimming slower than she had four years ago as she moved into what is supposed to be her prime. And while most might have been unaware of her struggles, the swim world was asking—quietly and never to her face—and theorizing about:
Couch

From Bullied Foster Kid to NBA’s Doorstep: Demetrius Jackson

Through it all, whenever he was lost, Demetrius Jackson knew where to find himself. On the basketball court. Alone. Shooting. Just shooting and shooting. A basketball, a rim and himself. His true self. Everything else—all the troubles and the confusion, the fear and the anger—disappeared. That's why he looks back now at the hoops he shot at throughout his life and remembers them so well, as if they are his lifelong friends.
Couch

Life as a Young Athlete in Flint, Michigan

Spend a few days just looking at the faces in Flint and listening, and you will see a tight-knit community that prides itself on toughness, on fighting, on overcoming. But you will also hear the frustration. Feel the wounded dignity. Smell the dirty water. "It's mind-boggling that this would happen, and now you have to think about the kids," Charlie Sr. says. "The kids can have brain damage, behavioral issues. With my kids, some days they're OK, and some days they're not.