Reginald Thomas II photos

The rationale behind the photo essay on Poly’s men’s varsity basketball team was not to take hundreds of action shots. What we don’t get to see when we talk about athletes or entertainers is the process that makes them great. We also don’t get to see the small moments that make them human and more relatable. Before the season began, then-freshman Rahim Ali was recovering from a sports hernia suffered from playing over the summer. He and his father were in Poly’s natatorium by themselves. The lights were barely on, as swimming is a winter sport and the space wasn’t getting used daily. All you could hear was the sound of water splashing and Rahim’s father giving him direction. To me, a father rehabilitating his son in an empty natatorium was powerful and intimate. It made each photo of Rahim throughout the season feel more important, especially during home games as his peers cheered him on, not having seen what it took to get him back on the floor in time for the first game.

Reginald Thomas II/City Paper
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