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Young Wellingtonians will be able to shoot hoops with basketball legend Kenny McFadden when the Push Play Summer Streetball Series takes place on courts around the city this summer.
Streetball is an urbanised form of basketball that developed with the rise of hip-hop culture. It features a number of variations from traditional basketball - the most obvious being that only half the court is used and that it is usually played as three-on-three (as opposed to five-a-side).
Organised by Wellington City Council, the Summer Streetball Series is a casual six-week programme giving young people the chance to develop their 'game' under the guidance of former Wellington Saints point guard Kenny McFadden.
According to Kenny, the series is about more than just learning basketball skills. "We want to help break down barriers - such as lack of money, transport and self-confidence - that stop young people getting involved in sport. It's all about having fun, learning new skills and meeting new people."
The programme was successfully trialled last summer - around 500 young people took part and the Council received plenty of positive feedback from participants and the community.
Kenny says the trial also helped reveal a number of very talented young basketball players. "We had one guy who went on to represent Wellington in an under-15 regional basketball tournament where he was awarded MVP. A lot of the young people who took part also helped organise the Slam Jam Streetball tournament that took place in August."
The Summer Streetball Series will take place between 3.00pm and 5.00pm every weekday from Monday 22 December until Friday 30 January (except for 25, 26, 31 December and 1, 2 January).
Mondays: Te Arahau Flats, Newtown
Tuesdays: Tairoa Street Park, Strathmore
Wednesdays: Waitangi Park, Wellington City
Thursdays: Arlington Apartments, Mt Cook
Fridays: Aro Valley Court, Aro Valley.
The sessions are free and will feature live music from DJ Blaze, basketballs as spot prizes, and even the occasional BBQ.