The Professor discovers Filipino basketball fever | Olympic Outposts
Here in the
Philippines, basketball has taken over the country. Hoops are put up
anywhere there’s room. They’ve been playing
here for over 100 years. And they may not
have the best courts, but they definitely
have the passion. I’m here to see how Filipinos
are performing their best, regardless where they can play. Philippines is basketball. OLYMPIC
OUTPOSTS PHILIPPINES MANILA This is Grayson Boucher, better
known as “The Professor,” and I’ve been playing the game
globally for over 15 years. Right now,
we’re live in Manila. I’m going to get in the
mix and go chop it up with some of the local
legends to find out why this sport is thriving here. I’m in Parañaque, and we’re
about to get up with Hype Streetball, who’s running a
training session for anybody who wants to improve
their basketball skills. Let’s check it out. -Hey, man.
-What’s up, man? What’s up, Grayson? Hey, pleasure to meet you, bro. Welcome to our place, man. -So you’re Little Flash?
-Yeah. So explain Hype Streetball. How did it start? It started in 2011. It actually started as a
basketball community, where I got our street
ballers, specifically kids here in the Philippines. We do three-on-three
streetball, one-on-one, and stuff like that. In and out. Bring the legs behind the back. Eyes up. How important would
you say basketball is to the Philippines? For here, basketball
is a lifestyle. Like when you go around the
court, go around the streets, you can see a lot of basketball
courts around the street. If there’s no
basketball, there’s going to be lots of vices
and stuff like that. So basketball saves
people’s life. So that’s how
important it is here. Yeah, I think it’s really
cool that the community is so into streetball. Like, I didn’t see any kids
here that were, like, forced to be here by their parents. In the United States, there
will be at least a good portion of kids there that probably
aren’t even listening. But here, you can tell
Hype Streetball’s got, like, a basketball enthusiast
community behind it. We’re going to start off
with freestyle exhibition. You’re not going to be good
if you’re going to be shy. OK, let’s go. -Whoa!
-Oh! That was smooth right there. That was hot. Hey! -Not bad!
-Yeah! Hey, it was cool to see
Hype teach the kids. But after all, they are
called Hype Streetball, so let’s see what
they do in the street, in their own environment. -What’s up, brother?
-What’s up? What’s up? -How you doing, man?
-I’m good. -What’s your name?
-Jake. This place is crazy. Where we at right now? We are in Bagong Pag-Asa. -And you’re from here?
-Yes. -Born and raised?
-I born here, yes. So what does basketball
mean for you, being in this environment
right by this court? The basketball– my
life’s complete. Yes. All right, man.
Let’s see what you got. Hey, guys, give it
up for Professor! They did great. Honestly, that kind of
energy is my favorite. They got the moves. A lot of players that
play fundamental, they just need to take
it to the next level. I’ve played in 40
countries around the world, and there’s not many places
you get this kind of energy. HYPE STREETBALL All right.
So we just got done hooping. I’m tired.
I’m hungry. We got to try some
of this street food. So, what’s going on here?
What should I eat? This is what we
call Halo-halo It’s a special food in
Philippines where you mix a lot of different things. These look scary.
I’m not going to lie. This is scary,
and that’s scary. So what do I do here? Crushing it down and
then stirring it? -Do it hard.
-Do it hard? Yeah. Yeah! Pretty good, actually.
That’s not bad. Yeah! All right.
Thank you, guys. Awesome. This morning, we’re here at
the tenement housing projects here in Taguig. At a certain point,
the residents here were actually facing eviction. But because of the community
surrounded around basketball, it was actually saved. Let’s check it out. So there’s the LeBron
James court that everybody talks about right here. Yes. Welcome to the
world-famous court. Man, what’s your name? -My name is Chris.
-Chris. So tell me about this teacher. I see it says, save tenement. Since 2010, we are evicted. They want to demolish
this building. You go to the internet. We’ll do
Save the Tenement fund. They say LeBron donate
here, so that since then, we are here, because of LeBron. This is the
handprint of LeBron. Wow. So how did the residents react
when LeBron James came here? They so very happy
when LeBron came here. They’re so very crowded here. Every floor, people
outside their house. Very cool. So how many residents
live here total? 1,500 families. Wow. We have 796 rooms here. So how many of the residents
actually play ball in leagues or play pick-up games? More than 1,000 also. Seems like you guys
just live basketball. Like, basketball here,
basketball on the left. This really is ingrained
in this culture. It just goes hand
in hand with life. That is our culture here. Every day. To me, it’s pretty amazing just
looking at the two basketball courts that are, like,
really the focal point in this community and
just how everyone’s so involved with basketball. I mean, in the US,
basketball could be a big part of somebody’s
life or something, but never is it
such a focal point of a community where
everything thrives around it. I’ve never seen anything
like that before. All right. I had a blast checking out the
world-famous Tenement Court, but now we got to hit the
court to actually play and get some three on three in. Ready, fellas? Let’s go. Oh! Oh! Energy is incredible. To be surrounded
by an audience when you’re playing a
streetball game and there’s high anticipation of action
happening, you can’t beat it. Coming to the Philippines was
an eye-opening experience. You can definitely
see that they live and breathe basketball. I got a chance to meet
with Hype Streetball and check out one of
their training sessions. It was very cool to see
they’re giving opportunity to other people
in the community, starting at a very young age. Everywhere I went out here,
I received a warm welcome. Philippines is basketball. They follow everything. I’m talking NBA,
streetball, PBA. You name it, they
probably know about it. From the streets to
the tenement projects, it’s clear that basketball
is a way of life and it’s in their blood. I had a great time, and I
can’t wait to come back again.