Pick Up

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Stanley Godia
Tarren Adams


The following is a multimedia presentation created by undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This short video examines the different aspects of basketball cultures that exist on campus. Students and basketball enthusiasts shared their experiences and opinions about playing “pick up” games at two athletic facilities at UIUC. First at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), and at the Campus Recreational Center East (CRCE). During the research period participants were asked various questions pertaining to the research topic. In the beginning of our presentation we previewed some basketball history focusing on the influences of street basketball, including the famous Rucker Park in Harlem, NY. We focused on examining how that street style of play, also known as “Pick Up” basketball has merged into today’s basketball culture. All participants answered questions at the various sporting facilities around campus. General questions included, “What is your favorite place [court] to play basketball on campus?” “Why do you prefer this particular location?” “What are your experiences within all and or one of these locations with the sport of basketball?” “Which groups of people do you play with, and if not with a specific group, how do you decide who you will play with or against,” and “What are some trends or ideas that have been influenced by basketball culture, that are present or unique to UIUC?

Concerning the UIUC campus, we found the ARC to be the most popular simply because of its size, and high level of competition. Here we also highlighted the ranking of the courts which was briefly described by one of the participants. CRCE located closer to the Quad, is home to more international students and an overall less competitive style of play. Looking back on basketball history we can see that there were numerous sports figures that shaped today’s game; such as Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. Through our discoveries we found that basketball on the UIUC campus and in a more general scope is influenced a lot by its history and what we witness in today’s basketball world. There are no barriers such as race, other than one’s ability to participate. The basketball culture that exist on campus is distinguished from facility to facility in the style of play, but all together students and others on campus can find something to relate to through the game of basketball.

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