by Kasper Nyman
Originally the idea for 'Cities of Basketball' sprung from passion for the game and a sheer love of travel. The project grew slowly as an outlet to distract from work related stress, but quickly developed into a never ending journey to document and portray basketball from cities around the world. With an anthropological mindset, I am interested in showing basketball as a global language. That these courts have a deep rooted history and reveal not only an aesthetic image, but represent a larger culture and platform being used on a daily basis. I believe that this project is never finished and has no deadline because ”Basketball Never Stops”. It's anchored around the love for a sport. A sport I’ve played for many years. And one which I've gained good friends and connections around the world - something I’m truly appreciative of..
Pick-up basketball is being played at playgrounds and courts around the world. So much so, that for many, not only has it become a daily routine, but also a way of life. Rather than being a simple pastime, there are those who consider the court as a means to prove themselves and their skill. Others find joy in the sport and use these spaces as epicenters for a larger community. The court becomes a cradle of culture. A gathering space that hosts wins and losses. A training ground. A place of belonging and refuge. The court can be a stage. Where one can use creativity to define their technique in an environment where you must earn your spot. You call your own fouls, your own plays. The trash-talking may vary from city to city, but the atmosphere, the scenery, the players, the people by the fences heckling and cheering, is what pick-up basketball is all about. Because of this, each court around the world has its own unique identity, history, rules, and legends. Even though there is a big difference between balling at West 4th in New York compared to Victoria Park in Hong Kong, players can find a common ground and understanding because they speak the same language; basketball.