The athletic apparel company kicked off the tour in Philadelphia ahead of a highly-anticipated game in Harlem’s iconic Kingdome this past Sunday, July 23. Attendees filled the bleachers as they watched a basketball competition, dunk contests, a Queen of the Court match, 5 v. 5 games, and dance contests, Hot 97 reports.
Icons from the original AND1 tour served as judges including OG Mixtape Players: Aaron “AO” Owens, Rafer “Skip 2 My Lou” Alston, Shane “The Dribble Machine” Woney, Phillip “Hot Sauce” Champion, Jamar “The Pharmacist” Davis, and former Harlem Globetrotter Briana Green.
Last year, the Mixtape OGs reunited to form the Blacktop Streetball Association to reignite the streetball competition style of playing the game, according to The Source. Original AND1 player Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon teamed up with Commissioner Linda Hick and his Partner & Co-CEO Mark Bullock to bring the original players together and start something new.
While AND1 initially was listed as a sponsor for the new tournament, the streetwear and footwear brand eventually signed on to take streetball to new heights.
“We respect the culture and will never compromise the integrity of Streetball,” Dixon said.
“We are in the trenches! Everyone wants the comfortability of playing inside, but this is streetball we play on the blacktop.”
The relaunch aims to give back to the culture and communities the players represent.
“Wealth to Black and Brown Communities is a major focus. We will give communities an opportunity to own a piece of franchises in the league,” Dixon said. “We also plan on building Streetball Stadiums owned by the community; the opposite of gentrification.”
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Source: Black Enterprise