On Saturday 30 June, Brixton in South London witnessed the ultimate basketball showcase as Nike took the World Basketball Festival to the UK for the first time.
The heartland of British Hoops played host to a celebration of both the game and culture of basketball that featured exclusive appearances from basketball heroes Luol Deng and Scottie Pippen, plus the public debut of Nike+ Basketball.
The day kicked off with a series of unforgettable athlete clinics in Brixton’s Windrush Square, which was transformed by the installation of a full size basketball court and bleachers. Ninety kids aged between 14-18 years old were treated to a personal training session led by head coach Herman Harried alongside Luol Deng and Scottie Pippen. The kids, who had all earned their place in the camp by showing dedication in their school basketball lessons, gave everything to impress their pro audience and were blown away to meet and play with legends of the game.
At noon, the festival opened its doors to the wider community for a packed schedule of events to experience and participate in, including a Nike+ Basketball trial zone.
On court, thirty two 3-on-3 teams, including teams from the Brixton Topcats, the London School of Basketball, Midnight Madness and Choice FM, battled through the knock-out tournament. In between games, 5 of the UK’s best dunkers went head-to-head in front of an expert judging panel made up of Luol, Scottie, Nhamo Shire from the LSB, Sam Neter editor of Hoopsfix and Kojo from Choice FM.
The climax of the free festival was a highlight international 5-on-5 exhibition game between the infamous Team Nike from New York and a GB all-star team.
The WBF saw a total basketball takeover of central Brixton and got the local community hyped on the game and 100% behind its continuing growth. The opportunity to play basketball in South London will be reinforced in the coming weeks as Nike launches a completely unique and permanent basketball-only court at the Lilian Baylis Old School.