By Emma Pettit

Basketball has always been central to Melika Clark’s life. Whether it was her own youth basketball career or those of the students who she currently mentors, Clark lives for basketball.

“When I went to [Jeremiah E. Burke High School], we played New Mission [High School] and it was a huge game,” Clark said during an interview at the Mission Hill JP Licks. “The whole city was there, watching.”

Clark, 27, now works as a mentor and substitute teacher at Fenway High School.

“The kids that are growing up right now are bright, extremely bright, and they have a lot of resources,” she said. “But I am fearful that them having access to everything- that can hinder things because they think they know everything… But you still have to go through some things to learn.”

Clark keeps basketball in her life by attending and volunteering at games throughout Boston.

“During basketball games sometimes I do the books, [work as the] time-keeper. So I know a lot of the kids playing ball throughout the city, over all the years.”

Some of those student-athletes end their competitive careers after high school, but others have found professional success. “A lot of NBA players made it out of Mission Hill: Shabazz Napier, Will Blalock.”

About this project

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories. 

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