Street basketballStreet basketball is a very popular spin-off of basketball, played by millions of females and males worldwide.
The ages of street basketball players generally range from age 5 to 65. Kids start playing the sport at a kindergarten level at some schools. But unlike professional basketball, a person's life as a street baller could span decades because the game doesn't require much training and is played for fun. Usually only one side of the court is used, and it doesn't involve a rigorous schedule. Participants can either play ten games in one day, or one game in ten days. The rules of the game are very similar to those of professional basketball, although some rules differ sometimes. The number of participants in a game may range from two - one defender and one attacker (known as one on one or mano-a-mano) to full teams of five.
The skill of street basketball players also varies. Some of the cities most famous for their street basketball players are New York, New York, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, although it is also said that there are good street players in Germany, Israel, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Spain. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks was discovered by Maverick's coach Don Nelson while playing a game of street basketball during one of Nelson's trips to Germany. Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers was also discovered while playing a street game in Germany, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army.
The most popular scoring rule is the to 21 win by 2 rule. This is when the first party gets to 21 before the second party gets to 19, therefore winning by 2 points. If the fist party gets to 21 but the second party gets to 20 the first party must score another basket to win. If there is no win by 2 rule then the first party must get to 21 exactly without going over. If the first party hits 22 then this is called a bust/marky and the first party goes back to a score of 1 or 0.
The games are very hard, and sometimes players could get injured. It requires grit and resolve because a lot of times, players involved are trying to impress the small crowds gathered around the court to watch, particularly spectators of the opposite sex. Because of this, certain professional leagues prohibit their players from engaging in this social activity.
Street basketball has become popular in the mainstream mainly because of the And 1 Mix Tapes. A group of Street Basketball players from New York started travelling the United States and playing against the local street ballers. Everything was taped and the players tried to embarasses their opponents by dribbling it thru their legs or bouncing it off their head. Now the And 1 Mix Tape Tour has turned into a popular show on ESPN that follows the life of these players as they travel around making the tapes. All of the players have Street names that they use as aliases. Some of the most popular players on the tour include: Skip to my Lou, Hot Sauce, 50, Shane the Dribbling Machine, Half Man Half Amazing, AO, and Alimoe.