This story appears in the June 13, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
TOP JOCKS Paula Creamer, Chris Cooley, George Parros and Mike Conley let photographer Irina Werning help them recreate childhood photos. And she's a pro at creating blasts from the past. "About a year and a half ago, a friend in Buenos Aires asked me to scan some negatives from his parents' wedding. There was one I really liked, and we played around with the idea of recreating it," Werning says. "That was the beginning of my "Back to the Future" project. I make most of the clothes and props myself. If I can't find the exact right color clothing, I'll dye it, like I did with George Parros' pants. Sometimes it takes weeks to recreate the shot, sometimes a day."
PAULA CREAMER, LPGA Tour Golfer
1998, Pleasanton, Calif. / 2011, Windermere, Fla.
I was 12 years old, and I'd just won the Castlewood Country Club Girls Junior Championship. My family lived on the first hole, and I'm standing in ourfront yard. My outfit is interesting -- wish I could say my parents picked it out. And those socks! Ugh, they're like midcalf. These days, you can't even see my socks. Back then, though, that was women's golf clothing; you couldn't wear skirts or dresses. Now it's the complete opposite. That trophy looks big and awkward. To tell the truth, I never really liked trophies. Still don't. In fact, I have only one in my house -- the U.S. Open trophy.
CHRIS COOLEY, Tight End, Washington Redskins
1987, Powell, Wy0. / 2011, Leesburg, Va.
My mom was always way into pictures. Growing up in Wyoming, we had this
big pine tree, and every year on the first day of school she'd take a picture of me next to it to see how much I'd grown. On the first day of kindergarten, she also snapped this shot of me in front of the bus. We lived way out in the country -- our closest neighbor was a half-mile away -- so the bus came right to my house. That football badge
around my neck was to make sure the driver didn't pick up the wrong kid. I was always a huge football fan, and always a huge Broncos fan, but for
some reason I'm wearing a Dolphins shirt. Blame my mom for that.
GEORGE PARROS, Right Wing, Anaheim Ducks
1989, Hilton Head Island, S.C. / 2011, Los Angeles
I was around 10 years old and my brother, Jeff, was 7 or so. It was the
'80s, as you can tell by the sweet magenta MC Hammer parachute pants.
I felt like the king of the world in those pants. Anyway, we always used to vacation with the same family every year. We had three kids, and they had three kids. One of them -- her name was Emily -- had a romance with my brother. So once on a rainy day, we decided it was time they got married. We tried to look as formal as possible. For Jeff, we fashioned a tie out
of a belt, and my folks added a flower. There was a little keyboard in the living room, so I learned the wedding march and played it for the ceremony.
Funny thing is, about a decade later, Jeff and Emily actually dated.
MIKE CONLEY, Point Guard, Memphis Grizzlies
1996, Fayetteville, Ark. / 2011, Memphis
It was my first year at a private Catholic school called St. Joseph's. We were Baptist, so morning mass and reciting prayers was all new to me. On top of that, there were only a couple of black kids
on the basketball team. Needless to say, I was kind of nervous. Good thing I knew how to ball. That season was the first time I ever scored more than 40 points in a game -- 51, to be exact. I'm not sure what's bigger in that picture: my smile or my eyebrows. I used to get teased all the time for those caterpillar-lookin' things. At least for this particular picture day, I convinced my mom not to cut my hair in the same bald fade she'd been doing forever and ever. This cut was nice and tight.