SEVENTEEN YEARS LATER
The car pulled to a stop in front of the community center. DeAndre Parker got out of the driver's side and went around, opening the passenger side door to allow his eight-year-old daughter to get out.
Andrea Parker had just gotten out of practice at her local elementary school, where she liked playing basketball on the mini team her school had.
DeAndre took one look at his daughter's disheveled ponytail and little basketball outfit and shook his head. He and his wife had tried getting her to take dance classes or do anything remotely girly, but Andrea was set to play ball like her five time champion father.
The backdoor to the car opened and DeAndre watched as his seven-year-old son got out of the car next.
Crestley straightened his glasses, and brushed his fingers through the natural curls on top of his head. Andrea thought her brother's hair was weird. Short on the sides, but curly on the top? So odd. The boy was only seven and DeAndre admired him for his mad style.
Together the three of them headed inside the community center, moving out of the way of parents taking their daughters from the edifice.
Inside, Cree Parker had on a leotard and was just finishing up her dance class she taught every Thursday. She'd never wanted to go pro, but teaching girls the fun of dancing had been something she'd taken to her senior year of high school. She'd tried bonding with her daughter, but she didn't push it once it was clear that Andrea was stuck on basketball.
Cree and her husband hoped it was a phase.
Andrea stood next to her father, scrunching up her nose at the sight of all the girly outfits. She looked up at her father and stuck her tongue out. "Eww."
DeAndre smiled. "This could be you."
"Nah, I'm going to play basketball like you, Daddy," Andrea declared. She noticed a couple of boys who'd been participating in the dance class and tilted her head to the side. "But maybe someday I'll marry a boy who dances."
DeAndre grimaced, like hell he'd let his daughter marry a boy who wore tights.
Crestley wasn't an athlete like his father or sister. He was much more interested in reading and math. Something that made his father proud for some odd reason in Crestley's eyes.
As he stood staring at his mother, admiring her beauty and grace as she helped little girls practice their pointe, he was in awe.
"Do you think if I win a couple of championships I can get a wife as beautiful as Momma?" little Crestley asked.
DeAndre snuck a peek at Cree, watching his wife kill it as she showcased a few moves for her class. He shook his head. "No, son, the trick is to get the girl before all the fame and lights, and what's most important is to never, and I mean never, waste time playin' hard."
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Playin' HardTeen Fiction
Hard Novel #1 When star athlete, DeAndre Parker clashes with a tough no-nonsense female classmate, he quickly learns that unlike basketball, there's no playin' hard in the game of love.