SLAM Stuff

Features

Native to New Jersey

It’s a sentence every New Jerseyan is familiar with, “Not New York, not Philadelphia—proud to be New Jersey!” Slightly corny? Maybe. But that local radio station is onto something with its tagline. We may not broadcast it in those same words, but we Garden State residents know deep down inside, we love the fact we’re from New Jersey. Read the rest here.

Swift Switch

When all of his neighborhood friends in Cairo, Egypt were kicking a soccer ball around, 9-year-old Assem Marei found his heart leaning toward something else—basketball. Read the rest here.

Push It

The one part of basketball that University of South Carolina center Alaina Coates was used to the least at the start of her college career is now her favorite thing about the game. Read the rest here.

Raised in NYC

Along with the big NBA names that are about to make their way to NYC for All-Star Weekend, the big brands are coming too. For Justin Leonard—a New Jerseyan who played ball in NYC all his life and whose professional world revolves around basketball in New York—the big brands’ insight to New York basketball over the quick All-Star Weekend will provide only an outsider’s glimpse to a history that deserves much more esteem. Read the rest here.

Unlikely Story

This story begins on the sidelines of Goat Park’s basketball court in New York City. It’s summertime. Former high school and college hooper Ryan Nicholson from Kansas City, MO makes his way there in a pair of jeans and no ball. Instead, Ryan holds a camera. More than a decade after making photography his profession, he realized he hadn’t shot hoops—with a camera that is. He’s got the J down. Read the rest here.

Recognition

What motivates a basketball player to pursue a career in the sport? A hunger to be the best in the world? Fame? Proving all the doubters wrong? The love of the game? Read the rest here.

Diversity Shunned Here

It’s ironic, isn’t it? For an international sporting event celebrated under the banner “Diversity Shines Here,” to simultaneously discriminate against athletes who adhere to religious modes of dress?

Yes, it’s ironic. And it’s wrong. Read the rest here.

#SLAMTop50: Marc Gasol, no. 23

When Marc Gasol first came to the United States from Barcelona, Spain a little over a decade ago, there were a number of things he had to get used to.

The English language, for one. Two, having an older brother play for the top basketball league in the world, the NBA. And three, figuring out how to avoid bumping his head into the frustratingly low doorways at his Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis for the next couple of years.

Looking back now, it’s safe to say Gasol adjusted to those challenges just fine. Read the rest here

#SLAMTop50: DeMar DeRozan, no. 30

Enjoying three warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven rather than two. Praying with your eyes closed for the official at the scorer’s table to add just one more second to the game clock following a hectic play in the fourth quarter, as the sweat drips down your face and onto the hardwood. Losing a Game 7 in the first NBA Playoffs series of your career 104-103 by a single point on your home floor. What a difference the number one makes. Read the rest here.

Baby Steps

The headlines on Tuesday, although few, declared in big, bold letters that FIBA came to a positive decision about its headgear ban. Read the rest here.

Footprint on the World

Carrying your shoes to the gym, to your pro-am game, on a plane—or wherever you need to transport those kicks—can present a problem. Either throw ‘em in your backpack or duffle bag with your clothes, most likely dirtying the inside, or carry them in a plastic bag, giving yourself an extra thing to hold.

After experiencing this problem with his basketball shoes in the late ’90s when he was all about hooping, Michael Sala knew there was a better way. He cut up bags and rearranged the pieces to invent his own unique creation, the original Solepack. Read the rest here.

First Love

After a long trip, there’s nothing like making the turn back on to your home street. You drive down the road, seeing all the familiar houses. The neighbor’s dog is barking at you, per usual, and another one’s wind chimes are singing away with every breeze. Despite the adrenaline rush you experienced on your journey, there’s a certain serenity and sweetness that comes when reentering that place called home.

This year, Tina Charles returned home. Read the rest here.

Global Game

What appeared to be a spam message promising an eyebrow-raising $500,000 to a winning team at some basketball tourney turned out to be the real deal—a chance to get together with his fellow Notre Dame alumni/pals, hoop so hard that he’d win MVP, and yes, even accept that fat check. Read the rest here.

Unfair Game

Hijab is a word too often defined as a simple piece of cloth some Muslim women use to cover their hair. In reality, the concept of hijab is much more vast, as it connotes the modesty in dress, action and character both Muslim women and men are to uphold. But this is not a story about hijab.

This is a story about basketball, and the right to play. Read the rest here.

The Crossover (REVIEW)

Alexander’s cool and touching read is one that keeps your fingers turning the pages for more. The book is like a down-to-the-wire game, with multiple lead changes and fast breaks coming in the form of Filthy’s life and experiences that deal not only with basketball, but family, brotherhood, tragedy, and acceptance. Read the rest here.

Love, Determination, and Basketball

When asked if he ever got a chance to talk to his across-the-street neighbor Stephon Marbury growing up, recent Florida International University graduate and Brooklynite baller Tymell Murphy exclaimed, “Of course!” Read the rest here.

A League of Their Own

Fifteen seasons. 835 players. Three divisions. And 1,000 text messages. Read the rest here.

Transcendent Game

I’ve been quite fascinated with storytelling lately and all the ways in which the art manifests. Be it an article in a magazine, a blog post online, an exhibit in a museum or a documentary film—storytelling is a powerful and inspiring skill. Read the rest here.

The Black Fives Exhibit Now at the New York-Historical Society

Dim lights, blue walls, and artifacts enclosed in glass cases—you’d think this was just another exhibit in a museum. It’s not. Read the rest here.

Game Plan

A bad pass, a steal, a sprint down the court, and a pretty finish. Whether a lob to his big fella or a fancy dunk for his own stat sheet, with all the proper or improper opponents’ reactions along the way—that’s Morgan State’s Justin Black’s favorite part of the game. Read the rest here.

Q+A: Brad Graham, Author/Designer of The Backpack Baller

Four-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team, three-time NBA scoring champ, Olympic gold medalist, 25 years young. There’s more, but really, need I go on? Read the rest here.

The Big Apple Classic Returns Next Weekend

The buzzer rings, are you listening? Down the lane, the player’s driving. It’s a beautiful sight, and all are happy tonight at the Big Apple Classic “Educational Wonderland.” Read the rest here.

Jersey Hero

Former St. Anthony and Seton Hall basketball star Jerry Walker says the highlight of his career didn’t occur on the court. Read the rest here.

Madison Square Garden Unveils Fully Renovated Arena

The lights really do shine brightest on the orange and blue painted floorboards. In a few hours, a bunch of kicks on the feet of the Knicks and Bobcats players will run and squeak across that court to wrap up the preseason. With the world-famous ceiling and brand new technologically advanced GardenVision scoreboard floating above, Chase Bridges circling the stands, and a return of the beloved Blue Seats from the first row to the last, Madison Square Garden’s three-year, $1 billion renovation is finally complete. Read the rest here.

NBA Coverage

Browse through here for my Post Ups (read: game recaps) from the NBA season.

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