Moamed Juma stormed away, memories of sand and civil war still burning inside him.
Back in Kenya, where the Somali teenager lived in refugee camps for 16 years, other boys used to huddle around a cellphone watching YouTube videos of LeBron James. They told Juma, who towered over them at 6-foot-5, that he should go to America and play basketball.
He did. Juma and his family moved to Portland in 2013, and he was soon discovered by the East African All Stars, a makeshift team of teenage boys who played on an elementary school court with rusted rims and tattered nets. Juma's new teammates bought him hamburgers and tennis shoes. Together, they won a city championship and earned support from nonprofit and civic leaders, adults who understood how easy it was for African immigrants to feel adrift in their new homeland and how disappointment can lead boys down dangerous paths. The All Stars, Portland's mayor and police believed, were an answer to the threats facing Juma and other young men.