The Tashkeel Diaries

Courtesy of Tom Gouttierre

Tom Gouttierre, in jacket, and players just before the Kabul city finals.

There would be many moments when Tom Gouttierre would wonder how he, a baker's son from Ohio, came to be on the other side of the world, in Afghanistan. But none quite as unlikely as this.

Looking around the village square that night in 1970, he could make out the snow-dusted peaks of the Hindu Kush, gilded by the moon's glow. He could see the cluster of dark, bearded men wearing pistol straps, and beyond them the villagers. But most of all he could see the gangly man beside him, the NBA...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!