The Biggest Sports Sensation Can be Found on the Street


by Amy Lignor


Streetball; everyone’s talking about it. For those who are unaware, streetball is basically exactly what it says it is; basketball that’s played on outdoor courts with far more lax rules than professional basketball. This is a good thing, however; because not having that incredibly formal structure that the NBA has to follow allows streetball players to shine individually and show the extreme talent they have.


Streetball has a very long history; it actually began in 1947 in New York City. The sport appeared when Holcombe Rucker, a nba_streetballplayground director for New York City’s Parks and Recreation Department, started up a basketball tournament for kids living in Harlem. This became known as The Rucker League, and all players in the tournament were taught basketball along with reading fundamentals.


It was during the 1960s that the local tournament was supported by the ‘big names.’ Players shared the court with legendary players, such as Wilt Chamberlain and “Dr. J.”


Streetball’s evolution over the decades has been fast; what began with swift moves transformed into a slower-pace that allowed the very cool acrobatic dunks, super-fast dribbling techniques and alley-oops to be seen by the crowd.


Dennis Chism, is known in the streetball world as “Spyda,” and is a member of the AND1 team. He participated in “Streetball: The AND1 Mix Tape Tour” series in 2003, and came back to win the whole thing in 2004. The jumping ability of this man is amazing to watch; his awe-inspiring dunks and huge smile show kids everywhere that he has a true love of streetball, and will most likely take his place in the Streetball Hall of Fame that’s sure to be built one day.


streetball-1What is so refreshing about this game is that anyone can learn it and play it. And in this consistent gossip-filled world, streetball’s mascot is a faceless (raceless) basketball player who represents any player who thinks their the best player on that court.


Flair, excitement – streetball players bring a great deal to the community because they have their own individual style that rules and regulations don’t take away from them. Even hip-hop artists, such as Jay-Z and 50 Cent help bring the flash and sass to the games which increases popularity even more.


Streetball has become many things to many people, built into programs that allow kids to get out their aggressions while discovering their talent. Many cities and states in the U.S. have jumped on board with these programs, organizing streetball events. Many of them even host weekend-long streetball tournaments (i.e., Hoop-It-Up; Houston Rockets’ Blacktop Battle).


What streetball most likely didn’t count on was the fact that the sport would go from something fun to do into something that the media wants to air to the entire nation. ESPN offers “Street Basketball” and “City Slam” to the public, as well as moving across the country to host exhibitions and events.


There are many fans out there, kindly referred to as Hoop Fanatics – that are trying to make streetball as popular as the game of soccer. They are spreading the joy of basketball by showing that kids and teens can discover, develop and achieve their dreams of becoming the next big basketball star.


And the NBA is certainly not upset about this new popularity. They are working just as hard as everyone else to make basketball part of the global universe. And they are using the ever-burgeoning sport of streetball to get the globe enticed. Preseason and regular season games are now being played outside of North America, with the very first NBA preseason game to be held at the MOA Arena. This is actually a huge breakthrough for basketball!


It was at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics that basketball was able to be played on a 3×3 basis for both boys and girls; the age range of the players was 14 to 18. Countries jumped on board; the Philippines, the Virgin Islands, Spain, Croatia, South Africa, Iran, and more. There is also a plan in the works to bring a 3×3 event to the Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


Keep your eyes open, fans. Because streetball is taking its place among the best sports ever played.


Until Next Time, Everybody,



Source: BeFirst Media / Baret News Wire