Its Mixtape Tour spawned a generation of freelance hoops stars who loved the game but not the fully controlled nature of high school, or college or even the NBA, and led the way for the term streetball. Flashy nicknames, trash talking tees, and hip hop music all fell into a cultural revolution based on the hardwood.
While streetball never really went away, its light certainly dimmed for a while. But now the brand synonymous with that genre is back, and it’s bringing its high flying and flashy tour with it. On Wednesday the AND1 apparel and sneaker brand, in conjunction with IMG, announced the creation of the AND1 Summer Remix Basketball Tournament. The new event will be a 12 team, $100,000, winner-take-all tournament held in Philadelphia at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University over Labor Day Weekend (August 29 – September 1). The event coincides with the fact AND1 was founded 20 years ago in Philadelphia by two business school students.
Teams will be comprised of some of the best players from across the country including professionals and streetball legends. AND1 Live will also host the first of several nation-wide Open Run tryouts that begin in New York City at the Dunlevy Milbank Center on June 8 from noon – 4 p.m., giving anyone the chance to participate in the event. More open tryouts will be held in select locations across the United States. The best eight players from all of the tryouts will form a free agent team and be allowed entry into the tournament.
“This tournament is a great step to advance our position as the preeminent street basketball brand worldwide,” said AND1 marketing director Maurice Levy in a statement. “This event will celebrate our roots in Philadelphia, featuring high level basketball and incorporating music to give our fans what they’ve been missing these past few years.”
The hope, according to organizers, is that the tournament will help fuel a new legion of streetballers and the resurrection of the Tour under the AND1 brand. The company was recently reorganized and is back strong at retail, and is getting a bigger boost this month because of the play of its first new professional endorser in years, Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers. Stephenson led Indiana to their upset series win over the Knicks, donning his own signature AND1 shoe. He is expected to play a role in this summer’s tryouts and tournament.
Hoops culture is reborn.