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STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
JEFF BENEDICT
December 05, 2011
A top student and football star in South Central L.A., Kitam Hamm is one of a growing number of high school athletes who face life-and-death decisions every day as they try to survive in gang-infested communities
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December 05, 2011

Straight Outta Compton

A top student and football star in South Central L.A., Kitam Hamm is one of a growing number of high school athletes who face life-and-death decisions every day as they try to survive in gang-infested communities

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Hamm, who surprised his mother on his 18th birthday by getting her name tattooed on his chest, turns to a visitor and says, "She asks why I don't tell her I love her. I'm just not an emotional person. But I love her. I want to be strong for her. My dad is scared he's going to lose her. If he loses her, I think he'll lose his mind."

It is a few minutes past midnight. Hamm is exhausted, physically and mentally. He sets the alarm on his iPhone for 6:15, turns out the light, clasps his hands, looks up and says a prayer before going to sleep: "God, please keep me safe."

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