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White Chocolate
by Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti / April 12, 2005

Seth M. Ferranti

Soul Man is the world's leading prison basketball journalist. He also writes for Don Diva, Elemental, Vice and Slam.
If you want the 411 on convicts, street legends, prison gangs, the mafia and life in the belly of the beast, check out gorillaconvict.com/blog
Check out Soul Man's first book Prison Stories and watch out for Prison Basketball, out in March 2007.
You can e-mail him at info@gorillaconvict.com.

This white kid hit the pound. He had all the blacks in a fluster. Apparently he was a baller, as in b-baller. They said the kid had game. And1 and all that.

Dude was slim, lean and tall. About 6-foot-2, probably. He had a wicked handle, mad hops and could shoot the trey. A couple of dudes from my unit saw him balling free rec and said he was the truth. He had it all.

The word was he played AAU ball up in Rhode Island or something. But his moves, that’s what was causing all the uproar and hype on the pound. This white boy could handle the rock. Stutter-step, crossover, behind the back. Like I said, the kid had crazy handle.

They started calling him White Chocolate. The white kid with the playground moves. They said he would dominate in the prison intramural leagues. That he was a superstar waiting to happen. And he could slam too.

Nasty dunks. Off the dribble. Alley-oops. Whatever. White Chocolate was for real. The kid hadn't even been on the pound a week and everybody was talking about him. He had dudes open. Gossiping like they were on Oprah Winfrey. The hype was incredible. Dudes wanted to see him under the whistle. In a prison league rec game, where it's go hard or go home. Dudes on the pound were thirsty to see his game. His tricks. His moves.

The dudes on the block put him on the unit team. So that he could represent. The team was already good, 9-0 at that point. Undefeated. But they figured White Chocolate couldn't hurt, because he was a playa, right? He might even be the final piece to the puzzle. The icing on the cake, so to speak. Dudes on the unit were betting on a championship now for sure. White Chocolate's nice, they said. We gonna get that chip easy now. Cats were getting their money straight because the playoffs were coming up. Dudes were getting ready to bet mad chedder. They hadn't even seen White Chocolate play under the whistle yet, but they just knew. He was the truth, the answer. Some people even claimed he was the best player on the pound.

The following week, White Chocolate's team had a game. Six PM. Prime time. The gym was packed. All the haters, whalers, wannabe gangstas, pranksters and crackheads came out. Dudes on the pound had heard the hype. Even helped create the hype. And they wanted to see some drama. They wanted to see a show. The White Chocolate show.

But the coach of the unit team didn't even start White Chocolate. We 9-0, he said. The kid gotta earn his time. The crowd hated on the coach for this because they were trying to see White Chocolate play. Everybody was there to see him shine and the coach wouldn't give him no burn. They yelled, screamed and threatened, but the coach stuck to his guns. About midway through the first half, he subbed White Chocolate in.

The crowd roared in anticipation. Some dudes hated on White Chocolate, but still they were on the edge of their seats like everyone else. The hype was so much that the kid couldn't possibly live up to it. I mean he wasn't LeBron James and at first he faltered. His first couple of moves didn't work out. I didn't know if he was nervous or what. The whole jail was in the gym waiting to see him do his thing and he looked tentative. The dudes on the team were giving him the ball like "here do your thing," but in the minutes he was in there he didn't do anything. He tried some And1 stuff, but all he succeeded in doing was turning the ball over.

The crowd was let down and started hating overtime. The great white hype, they hollered. You some shit cracker, they called out. Your game some pure garbage, they said. But still others encouraged White Chocolate because they had played against him or seen him free rec, so they knew what he was capable of.

At halftime, a couple of his teammates just told him, "play your game kid." Let it come natural. White Chocolate told them it didn't feel right coming off the bench. So in the second half, the coach started him. Dudes in the crowd were still hyping him up. They knew. They had seen him clown guys in free rec. Here it comes, they said. Watch out. He gonna do his thing. But still the haters doubted. White Chocolate looked to the crowd, but he seemed determined to hold his own and get his man.

He took the ball, dribbled down the court, shook his man with a sweet behind-the-back move and busted a trey, straight water. The crowd erupted. This is what they were waiting for. Drama. Showtime. And1. White Chocolate dominated the second half, playing every minute and making seven threes. Rainbow arcs that were all net. The kid's shot was sweet. Plus he busted off a lot of nice moves to get to the rack and foul line. By the end of the game, they were all believers in the crowd. Most of them at least. Some still hated though. The white boy is soft, they said. Wait till somebody put some D on him.

White Chocolate was basking in his notoriety. Dudes on the block were already counting their money in anticipation of a championship victory. Everybody was jumping on the bandwagon. He's a real point guard, they said. He's the truth. He's for real. Can't nobody stop him. Did you see that move?

Dudes were mesmerized and White Chocolate was the talk of the pound. At the next game, you know White Chocolate was in the starting lineup and even more dudes packed into the gym to watch. White Chocolate's playing tonight, they said. Cats were coming outta the woodwork to see the kid. It was showtime. But White Chocolate bombed the second game. His shot was off.

He got ripped and had a lot of turnovers. His team still won and he scored a couple of key baskets down the stretch, but he didn't dominate. And he didn't clown anybody. The crowd wanted to see dudes getting their
ankles busted. They wanted to see the move that would make them jump out of their seats.

Dudes were hating big time on him after the game. He's soft, they said. He got roughed off. Welcome to prison, son. He got locked down on D. But still others said, he just had a bad game. Even Michael Jordan had bad games. They still believed. They wanted to believe. White Chocolate gave them something to look forward to.
Then came game 3. The last game of the season. If White Chocolate's team won they would be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. White Chocolate came out hyped. Dudes said he was free reccing all day and going hard. He was trying to shed that soft image. He had heard the talk and dudes were saying you could rough him off. White Chocolate didn't want to be considered a punk.

White Chocolate came out blazing. He was busting moves, taking it to the rack, putting up threes and dominating. Every time he went into the lane it was and one. He just kind of floated. Up and above everybody else. Silky smooth. Off the glass. The kid went for 30-something and led his team to a victory. And two times, not once, but twice he had the whole gym in ecstasy, running all onto the court, trying to give him high fives for the moves he busted.

The kid crossed his man over twice. But he crossed him over with the ball in the same hand. Like a reverse dribble or something. Left the dude on the ground. Broke his ankles. The crowd went wild. And when White Chocolate made the crosscourt no-look pass after the move, the crowd went wild again as his teammate laid it in.

White Chocolate got much love after that. Dudes were saying he was the best on the pound. The playoffs were next and dudes were betting mad cake. All on White Chocolate's tea, too. But still there were the doubters and the haters. A lot of the brothers said White Chocolate was soft as cotton. They said he couldn't stand the heat in the playoffs. That he was always looking to the ref for a foul. And that he cried too much. You'll see, they premised. White Chocolate got no heart.

In the playoffs the opposing team D'd White Chocolate up hard. They fouled him constantly, slapped his hand, tried to intimidate him and take his heart. They didn't give him any space on the floor. Every time he touched the ball, somebody was up in his face, disrupting is dribble, talking shit to his face, calling him soft.

White Chocolate started giving the ball up. It seemed he didn't want it. The crowd would scream at him to get the ball. They wanted him to work some magic, but White Chocolate was getting beat up on the court. He just kept standing up on the wing not even calling for the ball.

What’s the matter, the coach asked him. They won't give me the ball, White Chocolate said. It wasn't true. White Chocolate couldn't take the hard D. It was affecting his game. He was getting exposed and the refs weren't hearing it. It was the playoffs, time to go hard or go hard. What you think son, this is prison.

Dudes were screaming in White Chocolate's face when he got subbed. You some shit, they yelled. Soft ass motherfucker. White Chocolate went into a shell. He still had his moments and his team reached the championship. But the magic, the hope was gone. The kid had game. He could play, but he wasn't the one. He showed promise, but he didn't have the heart. He was soft. Looking for all the little fouls.

Dudes hated big time on him. I told you he was soft, they said. Motherfuckers took his heart, they hollered. And it was true but still some cats supported White Chocolate. He young, they said. Give him time. But the haters said "fuck that" and when White Chocolate's team got blown out in the championship game dudes started calling him Whip Cream, as in that cracker's soft as whip cream.

Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti, federal prison number 18205-083, is housed at FCI Loretto. Previously he resided at FCI Fairton, FCI Fort Dix, FCI Beckley and FCI Manchester. He has been a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com since 2003

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