Hall Of Game
A temporary museum resides in Harlem.
by Sean Brown | @Bruce_Wayne14
August 12th is finally here, which means the highly anticipated inaugural Nike World Basketball Festival is gearing up. While Team USA is busy getting ready for a showcase game and Jay-Z is running through a sound check at Radio City Music Hall, a different type of celebration is happening uptown in Harlem on 134th.
World Basketball Festival is a celebration of basketball past, present and future, and The Ball Room on 134th is its official museum.
The Ball Room displays the three brands representing the festival—Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse—for the ultimate hoops museum in New York. A 1250 square foot shrine to the game shows off exclusive memorabilia borrowed from the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and interactive digital touch screens to get you involved.
The first eye catching exhibit is The Legends Wall, which is a time line of revolutionary iconic kicks that have been worn by the game’s best and enhanced the way we ball. An original Converse All-Star from 1917 is where the timeline starts, and it ends with this year’s Nike Hyperfuse. That right there truly shows how far the innovation of footwear has come. Some other fan favorites such as Magic’s 1986 Converse Weapons and Vince Carter’s (clear a 7-footer in a single bound) Nike Shox BB4 are also on display.
Directly across from The Legends Wall is The Jersey Wall showing off the evolution of the basketball jersey over time. Starting off with an original 1930’s Harlem Renaissance jersey that is a one piece that snaps between the legs (deemed by many at The Ball Room as the Beyonce’ “Single Ladies” jersey) all the way to the current 2010 China FIBA jersey which is lighter than two former USA Basketball jerseys combined.
Throughout the well-lit baller’s dream space located a few blocks from Rucker Park, Nike pays homage to not only well known NBA players but the street legends that have made NYC hoops the mecca of ball. Touch screen interactive displays allow you to see these players’ signature moves and allow for in-depth information on shoes from the concrete kings to the NBA All-Stars.
Aside from the on court legends, the legendary kicks’ designers are also on full display. A glass case with test model shoes, materials and a video of some of Nike’s best innovators like Tinker Hatfield speak about how some classic basketball sneakers were created.
While all the action over the four day festival will be happening at Radio City Music Hall, Rucker Park and Madison Square Garden, it’s important to take a second to stop by The Ball Room and review the history of how Nike, in conjunction with the game of basketball, has evolved its players and revolutionized the sport.