The Court at Ano Mera
Benveniste grew up on the island of Mykonos in the Cyclades, a group of islands in the southern Aegean above Crete. The Greeks invented the olympics and still won a gold now and then, but his tiny island was hundreds of miles from Athens, and so even the football here was low level. Anyone who excelled had to go to the mainland if they wanted to pursue the sport even at a high level in high school. But this changed when a retired professional basketball player from the States moved to the little town of Ano Mera. Now, to call Ano Mera a town, is a bit of exaggeration. It's a smattering of shops and restaurants surrounded by a smattering of white-washed little apartments, up on a hill above Kalo Livati beach.
The ex-pro sank some of his money into a court right in the middle of the rock and dust of the tiny town. There he trained the local kids as if they were kids back home, as if they would need to know defensive stance and have perfect jumpers to compete in the massive onslaught of kids dreaming of becoming Michael Jordan or whoever was famous now. Benveniste ended up playing in college in Athens, and he was even offered a division one position. He did not take it, but even years later, at an office job far away in another country, there was something about Ben that said he dreamed of glory. His training also meant that even in his mid-thirties, as the security raced after him down the third-level corridor toward room 7, they couldn't catch him.