Byron Mullens' prison ball

When I read this story by Anna Katherine Clemmons about Byron Mullens' working on his game during the lockout at a medium security prison, I was reminded of my all-time favorite segment on "This American Life" from 2002. Prisoners at a high security facility in Missouri staged a production of "Hamlet" and, in the process, the actors realized how much their life experiences mirrored the play's themes.

Mullens has been playing prison ball dating back to high school, when he'd visit a nearby juvenile detention facility to play pick-up with kids who were locked up and offer them some advice. So when it came time to figure out where he'd practice his game during the NBA lockout, Mullens called up an old friend who serves as a warden at a medium-security prison near his home in Ohio.

Mullens says that he doesn't choose to play at Ross Correctional Institution out of any overriding sense of altruism. It just happens to be a good place to work on his game. He spoke about the experience for the Bobcats' official website.