The Hooptainers brought their “A Game” to Sao Paulo, Brazil. We invited by Liga Urbana de Basquete (LUB, for short) to play in their streetball tournament – Streetfest. The tournament consisted of several streetball teams from Brazil. We were scheduled to play against the LUB All Stars towards the end of the event. By the time we took the court, the crowd was already excited. Not just to see American basketball but from all of the great games prior to ours. Yes, Brazilians can ball. The Hooptainers won the tap and jumped to a quick 2-0 lead, by way of K-Ups dunking it on a fast break. LUB were no pushovers, they inbounded the ball and brought it down the court and one of their big men, Carlinhos Soul, attempted to tear the rim off with a thunderous dunk but ended up shattering the backboard. The crowd went wild, probably the world’s fastest streetball game ever! In less than 2minutes the game was over. I am sure the LUB film crew has it on tape. We will post that footage when it is passed along to us. We’re not ones to dissapoint, so we agreed to play a half court game of 3 on 3.
The 3 on 3 game was full of highlights provided by both teams. LUB really got the crowd excited with some really creative and acrobatic moves. When it was all over the Hooptainers maintained their undefeated record but most importantly the crowd was the true winners that night. Despite the broken rim we were still able to put on a great show and if the crowd is happy, then so are we.
Unlike some “streetball” teams, we do not limit ourselves to just the blacktop. We use basketball as a tool to reach out to the fans ,their respective communities. It also allows us to bridge the gap between cultures, Brazil is a perfect example of this. During our time in Brazil we visited two youth facilities and spoke with children about the importance of an education and a desire to bring about positive change in their lives and in their surroundings. To speak with the residents of Sao Paulo and to see the joy our words, our mere presence brings to them is more rewarding than anything I can imagine.
The world is one large court and we’ve got next.