Passion of the streets

The culture of street basketball

Streetball is where it’s at. The feeling of simply playing a game can’t be matched by an organized league’s indoor gymnasium.

Although the game is similar to regular basketball in how it is played, there are quite a few vital differences and variations to be found. Just ask Brayden Duff, who played on the roster of both the 2007-2008 and the 2008-2009 Garden City Fighting Gophers and claimed the “AAAA” MILK MHSAA (Manitoba High School Athletics Association) Basketball Championship.

“There are definitely major differences in many ways. The level or organization is much lower seeing how there are no officials in the game,” said Duff, who is the younger brother of Wesmen volleyball middle Justin Duff.

Differences range from minor changes, to complete omissions of the rules.

Differences range from minor changes, to complete omissions of the rules.

“The rules are different as well to adapt to the ‘street’ image of the game being very raw and more original and creative than indoor/organized basketball. In streetball there is no ‘carry ball’ call and in some courts, there isn’t a ‘double dribble’ either. This allows players to do moves with the ball that would not normally be allowed,” said Duff.

Fans of the game enjoy the unique moves that have been inspired by street ball, and as a result, events like the NBA 3-on-3 and the AND1 competitions have been created.

AND1 brings a competition format just the same as the NBA competition, but instead of simply scoring point after point, you have to do it with style so it’s more of a show for the general audience. And just the same, the NBA 3-on-3 competition brings the officials outside although they play minor roles and just monitor that the game ends successfully. All of the major calls are left to the players so that the street pace is not disturbed.

With the increased awareness and enjoyment of streetball, more events have cropped up in the past few years. The acclaimed Slam Ball, which is still running today but is hardly caught on television anymore, is a chance for some great players or stylists to do what they want to do in the air without needing to meet the height or jump requirements.

Slam Ball places various trampolines on the court and games are played out while audiences are entertained. If anyone was fortunate enough to play Acclaim Entertainment’s NBA JAM on Super Nintendo, they would know exactly what this is referencing.
At the end of the day, the sport is still pretty much the same, and our “AAAA” Provincial Champion tells it like it is.

“The strategy remains similar,” said Duff, “Put the ball in their hoop, and keep it out of yours.”

Published in Volume 63, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 2, 2009)

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