Asphalt Chronicles #03
Numéro 03 — Paris
In order to understand the French capital's deep history, we had to sit down with the very pioneers of this movement. Names like Moustapha Sonko, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, and Amara Sy, amongst others, still resound from their exploits at the pro-level but most importantly, from the impact they had on the asphalt throughout the country.
The coexistence with organized basketball has not always been easy for some like Samuel Nadeau or Sacha Giffa, but undeniably, the playground raised them, built their character, toughened their game, and taught them the winning spirit. Women like Diana Gandega or Rym Chaouche are the perfect example of this passage through the school of hard knocks to earn their spot and silence the machos.
The court can be a place of socialization and a rallying point. Whether it’s in Pigalle through the initiatives of Stephane Ashpool, or Arthur Oriol in the 14th arrondissement, the basketball movement, and its dynamism has helped galvanize the youth with the positive virtues of sport. When considering the entire city of Paris as a whole, there are hundreds of locations loaded with basketball history.
Stalingrad, Champs de Mars, Père Lachaise, Luxembourg… Cultural epicenters that unfortunately fade away over time due to global politics underrating the benefits of sport in urban areas.
Today, initiatives such as the Quai 54 tournament, court renovations, or the creation of indoor facilities such as Hoops Factory vividly contribute to the rise of the basketball movement in the city of lights.
58 Photographs by Kevin Couliau