Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'A Memento Year' looks back at Basketball and Lithuania

To close out a memorable year in Europe, I had the great fortune of presenting an exhibition in Hamburg, Germany paying tribute to the people and moments that have shaped the trip.

Below are snapshots of the Lithuania/Basketball segment of the exhibition - 'A Memento Year'.


My tribute wall for the month spent in Lithuania for EuroBasket
My FIBA singlet and various tickets for sporting and cultural events
Posts on Basketball around Lithuania and Europe
Europe 2K11
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part I
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part II
- Trash Talk: News and notes on Lithuania and EuroBasket2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

30HG: Teams to watch for the 2012 NBA season

1) Memphis Grizzlies - My Fantasy Team mascot for the last 3 years. Noone's sleeping on them this time.
2) Chicago Bulls - Joakim Noah. Nuff said.
3) Dallas Mavericks - Champions and now even bigger underdogs. Take it away Dirk...
4) Indiana Pacers - Are they still a sleeper team?
5) Minnesota Timberwolves - Rubio: Was on the bandwagon with everyone. Jumped off it with everyone and I'm back on it with I think everyone.

Marc Gasol 2012
Chicago Bulls 2012
Defending Champs Dallas Mavericks 2012
Indiana Pacers 2012
Minnesota Timberwolves 2012
... Oh Yeah! and my favorite player's team - The Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry 2012

NBA off the court - 2011 Christmas Day tip off

Some more Christmas presents
1) D-Rose' sweater: Cool or Corny?
2) Kobe's bag: Black Mamba snake skin?
3) Yeezy
4) Weezy
5) The Ron Artest of Comedy
6) Directors

Via NikeTalk






Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Basketball Never Stops" - NBA, Welcome back!

Had no luck finding anyone playing Live NBA on Christmas Day in Hamburg. Bummer!
In honor of the Christmas tipoff for the shortened NBA season, I present to you some of my favorite "Basketball Never stops" photos.

Via NikeTalk






1) Durant really is committed to the "Backpacker look"
2) Black Mamba in the Phils
3) A Steve Francis sighting - There's the love!
4) Leaders of the new
5) Curry next to B Diddy. Pimp! My old fave next to my new.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NBA Christmas list

Sleeper team likely to impress:
Indiana Pacers

Non-sleeper team likely to impress:
Memphis Grizzlies

Overrated acquisition:
Chris Paul (Injury, Thankfully the Clips backcourt is loaded)

Underrated acquisition:
Mike Bibby

Overrated Player:
Carmelo Anthony

Underrated player:
Marc Gasol, Luis Scola,

My mistake:
That Ricky Rubio becomes a decent NBA player

Crazy prediction:
Mark Jackson to contend for the COY in his coaching debut

Merchandise wish list:
NBA Exclusive Collection Minnesota Timberwolves Logo T-Shirt

timberwolves, shirt, nba merchIt's shame that I've chosen a retro (I prefer designs moving forward) but this is the only shoe thats' piquing my interest for 2012. UnderArmour's future is looking promising for me though. Seeing as I've already highlighted a retro, Nick Van Exel's revamped former shoe ain't bad.

jordan 11, lows, black red

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Sports songs)

<< crossposted on the 'LozInTranslation' blog

The 30HomeGames project is a mission that has me seeking Basketball around the world. In reality it's been a great pretext that's connected me to places and people I might otherwise not have.

Throughout the year I've befriended amazing people by connecting through sport. From parkour in München, participating in classes at Köln's esteemed Sports College to playing with Bremen's Ultimate Frisbee team. Not to mention the amazing Basketball experiences across Europe.

Fun Fact: More often than not these sports experiences have involved Germans in some way. *Shrugs*

The following songs form the soundtrack for the Sport experiences I've had recently. 'Lovely Day' was part of the Mix CD my German friend and events organiser had playing for some Volleyball socials in London. Additionally one of my skater housemates in Köln had a soulful music palette thus Bill Withers was on high rotation.

VIDEO: 'Lovely Day' by Bill Withers


Sports hype music is ultimately arbitrary, any feel good track with an energetic rythm will do. The video below documents a 'lovely day' spent with Sports students in the 'Aqualand' of Köln.

VIDEO: Aqualand 10.12.2011
'Banquet' by Bloc Party
'Promiscuity' by Manu Chao


- Find the entire 'Road Music' Track listings here

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NBA Player jerseys: Overlooked eras, Forgotten teams

One of the things I nerd out to basketball-wise is seeing people rock obscure jerseys of overlooked eras in a Superstar's storied career. I spotted such a singlet at a recent Wrestling show in Oberhausen, Germany. I found former ROH Champion Eddie Edwards sporting a #12 Celtics (Dominique Wilkins) jersey as he manned his merch desk post-match during intermission. I commended him on his singlet, he told me "he got it in Boston 15 years ago" adding that he loves "anything Boston". When I told him how much I enjoyed obscure jerseys and recalling a player's forgotten years, Eddie proceeded to recount Dominique's team history post-Celtics (Clippers, Spurs).

Whilst in London, I took note of a #23 Knicks jersey (Marcus Camby) a BBoy at the Trocadero Underground was rocking. I also had a recent conversation about how dope a #35 ZombieSonics (Rookie Kevin Durant) jersey would be. Days later I would see Phife Dawg wearing it onscreen at the Tribe doco screening.

Eddie Edwards had also seen the doco and dropped even more knowledge, the guy knows his stuff. I love nerding out to basketball.
-------------------------------------------

Enjoy the following collection of Superstar forgotten eras, my Christmas wishlist of obscure jerseys:
pippen, rodman, lakers, blazers
Rodman, Lakers #73. Pippen, Rockets #33
pippen blazers
Pippen, Blazers #33
olajuwon, ewing, raptors, magic
Olajuwon, Raptors #34. Ewing, Magic #6
cassell, sprewell, wolves
Cassell, Wolves #19. Sprewell, Wolves #8
iverson, memphis, grizzlies
Iverson, Grizzlies #3
1) It seems Rodman and Pippen are still yet to have their first conversation
2) Two members of the coolest team at the turn of the century
3) 7 year itch: HOF Centers, Ewing and Olajuwon relive the Finals in 2002
4) They only had one devastating year. 2004, KG's MVP year.
5) Iverson gave up on Memphis as he wanted to start for a contender. The Grizz eventually became legend-killers

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happiness, Dreams, Hard Work: Dirk [Nowitzki] DID it!

"All dreams are crazy. Until they come true. | Dirk Did it" - Nike T-Shirt
I mentioned in my maiden 30HomeGames post that my travel writing often reflects the 'Pursuit of Happiness'. I drafted this piece months ago, sat on it then totally forgot about it. Fast forward to now in Germany. I picked up 'Snipes Mag' with local hero Dirk Nowitzki on the cover, it contained a pictorial of his triumphant meet and greet at Frankfurt in September.

Though I never have absolute favorites, I've always admired Dirk and had a soft spot for the Mavericks. I had Dallas picked at the start of the season but as custom for Mavs fans was (understandably) subdued come postseason. They made an improbable run. Beating Portland who were tipped to upset, sweeping the reigning champion Lakers, defeating the ascendant Thunder and avenging "Heel Heat" in the Finals. Dirk's road to glory couldn't be any more dramatic and come to a more deserving player.

dirk nowitzki, champion, frankfurt, fans, mavs
Dirk Nowitkzki at the Frankfurt Snipes Store
- Find the shirt here, NIKE Tee Nowitzki Celebration black
- Find more pictures here, "Dirk did it at Snipes FFM"
- Video of Nowitzki's Meet & Greet, Dirk Kommt promo
- Video of Nowitzki at Frankfurt Snipes, Dirk Nowitzki bei SNIPES in Frankfurt am Main
- Go to the official Snipes Shop site

-------------------------------------------

One of the recurring themes of my travels is "happiness". Spending a year being able to act on one's every whim, you start wondering "to what end?". I think the best recipe for happiness is to find purpose, to reach for a goal. More often than not our goals can seem unattainable but it only makes success that much sweeter when it's achieved.

Follow Dirk's championship story charting his journey from tragedy to triumph:

dwyane wade, heat, mavs, dirk, 2006
D.Wade almost singlehandedly wills his Miami Heat to a Championship
2006: The underdog Heat led largely by 2nd Year Superstar Dwyane Wade spectacularly defeat the Mavs after trailing 0-2 and down 13pts with 6 minutes to go in Game 3.

baron davis, warriors, mavs, dirk, 2007
Baron Davis leads the Golden State Warriors to upset the Mavs in Round 1
2007: Upset in the first rd by the upstart 8th seed Golden State Warriors after posting the best Regular Season record (67-15)

VIDEO: Dirk Nowitzki's Championship Game 6 Press Conference


Transcript: Dirk Nowitzki after winning the NBA Championship (June 12, 2011)
DIRK NOWITZKI: I don't really think that way right now. If you're in this league for 13 years of just battling and playoffs last basically ten years, 11 years, and always coming up a little short. That's why this is extra special. If I would have won one early in my career, maybe I would have never put all the work and the time in that I have over the last 13 years. So this feels amazing...

Man, this is what I obviously played for the last couple of years. I think when you come in in this league you want to establish yourself. All these All-Star Games and all those things are nice, in scoring, but when you get to a certain age, you've basically seen it all, and all you play for is for that ring.
Update:
This graphic details how much of an underdog feat the Dallas Mavericks accomplished in 2011
Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry leads
the Dallas Mavericks past the doubters
- NBA 2011 Champion Dallas Mavericks: Happiness on a shirt

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Other people's stories - Tales of: living in the moment

<< crossposted on the 'LozInTranslation' blog

On my return to Germany, I had a thought-provoking stay CouchSurfing in Düsseldorf. My host, 'German P*' was an avid poker player and Philosophy student with an impressive collection of books. Some I owned and some I'd been reading. Most interesting was the literature he had on Zen, it informed his Poker play and extended to his approach to life. As I've been on a mission to have a basketball experience around Europe, I was naturally drawn to his copy of 'Sacred Hoops'. A book by basketball Living Legend and famed Zen Master Phil Jackson, best known for coaching two of the greatest competitors and champions in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

When in motion I prefer not to use a map. I enjoy feeling my way through, come what may. On the occasion I've had a running mate, I've found myself annoyed when they've depended heavily on GPS navigation and maps even though I know its entirely well meaning. You could say its a pet peeve. I've often wondered why it aggravated me so, this passage from Jackson's book shed some light:
I find it amusing when people ask me where I get my ideas for motivating players. The answer is: in the moment. My approach to problem-solving is the same as my approach to the game. When a problem arises, I try to read the situation as accurately as possible and respond simultaneously to whatever's happening
I realised I enjoy being in the moment, to be tested by it. I learnt several things during my stay with P*. With his perspective as a poker player and student, we had many discussions on the subject of gambling, life and the way we think (human behaviour and personal beliefs). What I came to appreciate was the importance of "living in the moment", particularly poignant as the year closes and my journey wraps up. Not only to look back and reflect but to also feel "present" inspite of the complacency and distraction that can overwhelm during eventful times.

With that I present to you this edition of Other People's Stories - Tales of: living in the moment:

VIDEO: Marc Maron talks to Norm Macdonald about his gambling problem

This podcast conversation on gambling resonated with me when I heard it months ago. I shared it with P* as I felt it was relevant to our discussion
WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Episode 219 - Norm Macdonald
NORM MACDONALD: The only time I went to a psychiatrist was for gambling, cuz how do I get the f*ck out of this. He said "the reason you gamble is to avoid life". My thing was "Isn't that why you do anything in life? To f*cking avoid it"
MARC MARON: (agreeing) It's just too painful
MACDONALD: ...you just lose by uh, its just like any escape... When I watch a game and I've got a bunch of money on it then I can understand what's going on. There's nothing ambivalent about what's going...
MARON: (adding) and there's stakes
MACDONALD: and there's stakes. You know exactly the rules. You're completely involved. You're completely escaped from your life. The real, real fear...
----------------------------------------------

sacred hoops, phil jackson
'Sacred Hoops' by Phil Jackson (1995)
I devoured this book as soon as I found it on P*'s bookshelf. He suggested 'A New Earth' (Eckhart Tolle, 2007) was more relevant to me, I felt that with my 30HomeGames mission choosing the basketball book was a no-brainer
Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior
This is a book about a vision and a dream. When I was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1989, my dream was not just to win championships, but to do it in a way that wove together my two greatest passions: basketball and spiritual exploration.

On the surface this may sound like a crazy idea, but intuitively I sensed that there was a link between spirit and sport. Besides, winning at any cost didn't interest me. From my years as a member of the championship New York Knicks, I'd already learned that winning is ephemeral. Yes, victory is sweet, but it doesn't necessarily make life easier the next season or even that day. After the cheering crowds disperse and the last bottle of champagne is drained, you have to return to the battlefield and start all over again.

In basketball as in life true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way. Of course, it's no accident that things are more likely to go your way when you stop worrying about whether you're going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what's happening right this moment
...
Life like, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game – and life – will take care of itself.
----------------------------------------------

This was a winning essay P* entered into a competition commissioned by a German Poker forum, It deconstructed the pscyhology of "tilt". When players let their emotions cloud their poker judgment, it is called going "on tilt".
In order to recognize tilt we need to be present. This is a matter of exercise and great results can be achieved long-term. The most intensive kind of exercise is meditation, which is pure presence...

A less intensive way of exercising is implementing small routines in daily life... "If you sweep the yard, sweep the yard. If you cut a carrot, cut a carrot" is a Zen saying which refers to this. Usually when we cut a carrot we are somewhere in the past or future, only when we cut our finger are we present. If we are fully present from the beginning we won`t cut our finger - you could say the same for tilt. If we are fully present we dont tilt
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Adventure
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Love
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living the Dream
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living in the moment

Find previous Maron podcast references here
- Marc Maron with Adam Carolla - On being sedentary
- Marc Maron with Doug Stanhope - On happiness
- Marc Maron with Norm MacDonald - On being in the moment

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missed connections: Deron Williams and Nicolas Batum

eurotrip, flight, plane
As the NBA slowly rolls into gear, I can't help but wonder what might have been for 30HomeGames. All things considered I would rather have a shortened season, with the NBA retaining as much goodwill and momentum possible rather than selfishly holding out to see a few NBA stars in Bizzaro-world rosters in Europe.

I've been spoilt as it is. I had an unforgettable month in Lithuania for EuroBasket, got to see reigning Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, witnessed an ascendent France and the full might of Spain. Not too shabby.

The only real missed opportunity was not seeing Deron Williams play in front of roaring European fans. To be fair, I only had a 1.5 month window (15 games) which was happily spent nerding out in England and enjoying hoops in the Baltics.

For NBA fans, the spotlight shone in Lithuania and Brazil beginning September for EuroBasket and the FIBA Americas Championship and dispersed to places as far as China and Russia where players signed onto faraway teams fearing a protracted lockout. On Christmas day, NBA fans will return their attention stateside as the Assosciation returns to business as usual and fans who were privileged to enjoy the short window of NBA talent competing on their international courts can reflect on how unique a treat it really was.
Turkey’s Besiktas Retires Deron Williams’ Jersey
With the NBA lockout seemingly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for all those NBA players that left to play ball overseas to return to their respective NBA cities. Well, all except for JR Smith, Wilson Chandler Kenyon Martin and Aaron Brooks, apparently. One guy who will be making his way back home with more than just some extra cash is New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams. The All-Star guard will also be bringing his now retired Turkish jersey. Yes, that’s right. All it took were 15 games for Williams to have his jersey retired...
Here are a collection of farewell tweets from NBA stars homeward bound from their Hoops-EuroTrips
@Nicolas88Batum (Nov 27)
Was maybe my last game in the french league with Nancy. Want to thx everybody (teamates,staff,coaches) I spend 2 great months with them!

@DeronWilliams (Nov 28)
My last game for Besiktas was last Friday... I will be at the game tomorrow but just to watch and support the guys! It was a fun 3 months

@TyLawson3 (Nov 29)
I would like to thank the zalgiris organization and fans for allowing me the opportunity to play for them. I enjoyed the experience.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The NBA is returning just in time for Christmas, Who wins and who loses?

VIDEO: Tentative NBA labor deal reached

ESPN recently compiled a list of Winners and Losers now that the players and management have come to a tentative agreement.

Truth be told, I feel like I would have to include myself in the losers column. Being in Germany, I had been making plans to see the rematch between Besiktas Istanbul and Göttingen, December 13.
Monumental for two reasons:
1) NBA Superstar Deron Williams had just exploded for 50 points against this team
2) New recruit, Championship Laker and reality TV star Lamar Odom would have been on show

Not to mention any number of stars I was looking forward to seeing in France (Batum in Nancy) and elsewhere. With this developing news in America, my enthusiasm for basketball in Europe has deflated considerably.

With that said, In my mind the return of the NBA makes winners of everyone. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2011

NBA fans: Phife Dawg of the Tribe loves this game

@30HomeGames:
"If I was an MC I would totally pander to the crowd by rocking the basketball hometown hero jersey. Its funny I was just saying the other day how cool a ZombieSonics Durant shirt would be to rock"

phife dawg, tribe, kevin durant, seattle
Phife rocking a Seattle Supersonics, Kevin Durant #35
phife dawg, tribe, lakers
Phife rocking a Los Angeles Lakers tee
phife dawg, tribe, cavs, one goal
Phife rocking a Cleveland Cavaliers "One Goal" tee
I had the pleasure of being at the UK premiere of Michael Rapaport's Tribe Called Quest documentary. Phife Dawg of the Tribe treated the audience at KOKO (Camden, London) with a set after the screening.

VIDEO: 'Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest' Trailer

Phife a native New Yorker, who has lived in Atlanta and California shows his love for the game of basketball by rocking some dope NBA merch. By my count, I noticed Phife repping the Lakers, Cavs, [Zombie]Sonics and Warriors. In one amusing scene, Q-Tip conducts a mock interview asking Phife to clarify why he is decked head to toe in Lakers paraphernalia when he hails from New York, the conversation ends with Phife welcoming Amare Stoudemire to NY but pleading he play better defence.

This should come as no surprise. On the official ATCQ website, Phife's profile page declares:
A Tribe Called Quest - Phife Dawg
Throughout Phife’s life, sports have played a major role in this mc’s career. Phife is the one person who truly bridges the gap between sports and music. He was the first to wear throwback jerseys of his favorite teams and players in the early nineties, a trend that would catch on 11 years later. Phife not only rapped about sports, he lived it. He is a walking stat book on all levels of football, basketball, and baseball. He penned hits for the likes of Shaquille O’Neal on several of his platinum releases. He was a contributor to both Rap Pages and Slam magazine dealing with sports and music. He has served as music consultant for the Golden State Warriors...

He IS the biggest damn sports fan in hip hop PERIOD. As he tells it, it is an incurable sickness that will follow him to his grave. He loves sports more than music, and he does music for a living. That should tell you something. Phife would be an ideal host or performer for any event because of his history with music and sports, and his incredible handle on both...
- Go to the official 'Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest' website
- Official Phife Dawg profile page

Update: Greeting from Germany! Found this Dope Tribe-inspired Tee by German brand K1X
tribe, k1x, scenario, hoops
K1X "What's the Scenario !?" tee

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Patty Mills teams with internationals Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez and streetwear label UNDRCRWN

@30HomeGames: Its like a mashup of everything awesome. An Australian bball player for a great cause, two of my favorite international players and one of my favorite Streetwear brands!

patty mills, australia assists, trailblazers, undrcrwn, charity stripe
Patty Mills rocking UNDRCRWN designed tee for Flood Relief 
patty mills, australia assists, trailblazers, undrcrwn, charity stripe
patty mills, australia assists, trailblazers, undrcrwn, charity stripe
The international stars of the TrailBlazer's helped out fellow teammate Patty Mills by donating their time for 'Australia Assists' - a relief fund created to help victims of the floods that ravaged Northern Australia earlier in the year.

French star Nicolas Batum and former teamate (traded to Dallas) Rudy Fernandez of Spain donated their time for the cause. Streetwear label UNDRCRWN in partnership with 'WearMyShirt ' designed a bangin' t-shirt to raise funds in aid of the relief effort.
Patty Mills teams up with Wears My Shirt and UNDRCRWN for Flood Appeal
Patrick 'Patty' Mills, Wears My Shirt, and UNDRCRWN have teamed up to raise $50,000 for Australian flood relief efforts.

During December 2010 and early 2011, significant flooding and a damaging cyclone occurred in Queensland, Australia. Months of flooding killed as many as 32 people, affected about tens of thousands of properties, shut coal mines, cut rail lines and damaged crops. Economists estimate it may cost A$20 billion in repairs.
- Follow @Patty_Mills on twitter
- Go to the UNDRCRWN blog
- Read more about the 'Wear my Shirt' initiative

Monday, November 21, 2011

Basketball without Borders: North Carolina VS Michigan on aircraft carrier

30HomeGames: My target is to attend 30 Home Games, one for each NBA team. I'm tempted make it 31 venues after this story - watching a live basketball game on an Aircraft Carrier! Truly a unique spectacle only a few lucky people will ever witness.

Basketball certainly has no borders, as a fan and a player the love of the game has allowed me to access people from all over the world. Basketball without borders took on a completely different meaning recently when an exhibition game was played on a floating city. The North Carolina Tar Heels began the season with style against the Michigan Spartans, launching their season on the flight deck of the Carrier Carl Vinson.
North Carolina cruises to Carrier Classic win
NAVAL BASE CORONADO, Calif. — The massive aircraft carrier Carl Vinson can carry more than 80 combat aircraft and a crew of about 5,000 and, by any measure, is one of the most intimidating and powerful components of U.S. military might.

The North Carolina Tar Heels, who opened their season Friday on a temporary court on the flight deck of Vinson for the inaugural Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, look like they might be pretty intimidating and powerful, too.

- Visit the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Flickr page

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lebron James in London (November 2011)

lebron james, basketball, london
In a previous post I was lamenting how I was missing out on Dwyane Wade's cameo in my hometown of Sydney. Unbeknownst to me Wade's "villainous" partner in Miami was recently in my neck of the woods. Lebron James flew to London for a quick promo tour promoting the new NikeStore in Stratford Westfields.
Popping into the Nike store at London's newest shopping Mecca @westfieldstrat tomorrow 11.30 am sharp, will you be there?.
Lebron made further appearances at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre where he hooped it up in front of hundred of young fans.

VIDEO: LeBron James Q & A with London School of Basketball


Find relevant British Basketball links here:
- Go to the 'London School of Basketball' Facebook page
- Go to HoopsFix.com (England Basketball and British Basketball League)

Update: Jan 2012
VIDEO: LeBron visits London

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Social Sunday Sports, Basketball in London via Couchsurfing

socialympics, basketball, hendon leisure
Crashing the boards
socialympics, basketball, hendon leisure
Easy two coming up
socialympics, basketball, hendon leisure
Ball watching
Part of the reason I've been seeking basketball around Europe, apart from my love of the game, is that its a great way to meet people. Its a particularly useful way to access cultures when there is a language barrier. Being a largely American sport, there is a good chance you can at least connect on English or perhaps American Culture.

My knowledge of the game has allowed me to relate to countries through their famous NBA exports. Depending on its popularity, basketball players can be a nation's most prominent international ambassador. Dirk Nowitzki of Germany and Arvydas Sabonis of Lithuania come to mind. In fact my time in EuroBasket 2011 was largely built on understanding cultures through the mutual love of Basketball.

'Socialympics' in London is a great initiative designed to unite people from other nations through the magic of sport. It caters for people of various English levels but also welcomes locals and fun-loving people from all walks of life.

I was fortunate enough to attend my first organised game of hoops in Europe through Socialympics. I've made great friends and am looking forward to making it a routine. On this night I shared the court with people from Germany, Hungary, Spain, The Czech Republic, Japan and England.

I actually first became aware of the initiative through CouchSurfing, making it the second time CS has helped me access basketball. The first was being spotted by a CSer in the crowd of a Tartu [Estonia] Basketball game which led to being hosted and more nerding out to hoops. She was a big basketball fan and shared tales of befriending some of the City's basketball imports.

Thank You Socialympics, Thank you CouchSurfing and special thanks to the game of Basketball.

socialympics
My host and some kids repping 'Socialympics'
If you're interested in getting involved you can find the Socialympics Facebook page here. They also host other sports like Volleyball and Dodgeball just to name a few. If you're interested in Basketball, there is a weekly event every Sunday in Hendon Leisure Center (near Tesco), Brent Cross
Social Sunday Sports
Get socialised and play Basketball!
Sunday 20th November, Socialympics are hosting a Basketball game. We are starting at 6pm at Hendon Leisure Centre.

This is about getting socialised so even if you have never played basketball before, no problem!!
Let's Have Fun!;)
Find other Basketball experiences facilitated by Couchsurfing:
- Social Sunday Sports, Basketball in London via Couchsurfing
- Streetball in Santiago, Chile via Couchsurfing
- Baloncesto: I love this game - Basketball in Europe (PtI: España)
Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part I