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Street court art, technology intersect in latest testimonial to PH love for hoops

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 05:30 AM November 19, 2017

A composite photo of all five courts featuring NBA stars (from left): Lakers legend Kobe Bryant at Ususan Court in Taguig, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook at Scarlet Homes covered court in Parañaque, Cleveland’s LeBron James at Tital Love Court in Taguig, Boston’s Kyrie Irving at YCL Covered Court in Quezon City, and Golden State’s Kevin Durant at Comembo Covered Court in Makati. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Step into one of these custom-painted courts. Whip out your smartphones and tap on an app. Here, in Nike’s latest testimonial to Filipinos’ love for basketball, hoop artistry meets technology.

The global sportswear giant unveiled five NBA-themed street courts and a specialized app that gives ballers access to drills and videos customized by some of the best players in the world.

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“The passion for basketball in Manila is unlike any other city in Asia,” said Nike Southeast Asia and India senior marketing director Bulbul Khera.

“We want to inspire young ballers to realize their full potential through the physical and digital aspect of the sport.”

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The partnership that brings to life this unique experience exemplifies this union-waiting-to-happen. Google is working in tandem with Nike to perfect the marriage of technology and basketball science.

The app is, indeed, novel. But perhaps the one that is expected to draw much attention are the Hyper Courts that feature comics-inspired artwork from American artist Arturo Torres, who painted images of Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Russel Westbrook.

LeBron James’ likeness is spread over two courts in Bonifacio Global City. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Torres is no stranger to millennial art, as he is known for his signature superhero-themed illustrations of rappers, basketball stars and New York Times best-selling books. Now, his artwork is sprayed in six hardcourts—a colorful encouragement for young kids to pursue their hoop dreams.

“I want the kids that play on these courts to know that they can be like the superstars I’ve drawn,” Torres said. “Sure you have to put in the work, but no one can tell that you can’t do something. With Nike Hyper Court you can go out there and prove them wrong—to anyone that’s ever said no to you.”

James’ image was placed in the Titan Love Court in Taguig, while Bryant’s Hyper Court is at the Ususan Court also in Taguig. The Comembo Covered Court in Makati was transformed into Durant’s image, while the Scarlet Homes Covered Court in Paranaque has a drawing of the fiery Westbrook. The YCL Covered Court in Quezon City bears the image of Kyrie Irving.

Match the inspiration the illustration creates plus the training courses the app produces and Nike hopes the next star will be one of the young kids doing drills on the Hyper Courts.

“Nike Hyper Court enables these ballers to train anytime without worrying about access to training drills and training costs,” said Khera.

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Xavi Nunag, an assistant coach for Meralco in the PBA, designed the training drills on the app by studying the tendencies of Nike athletes in the NBA. App users can actually select which player they will pattern their drills after. Irving’s profile, for example, puts emphasis on shooting and ball handling.

“Its a godsend for us coaches,” said Nunag of the app. “It’s like having a coach there in the app without really needing the presence of a coach.”

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TAGS: Basketball, Bulbul Khera, NBA-themed street courts, Nike
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