The mythical Basketball court in the Lóios neighbourhood, in Chelas, better known as Chicago, has gained new life at the hands of urban art duo Halfstudio, as part of a project that aims to revitalize the court for new generations promoted by Hoopers, a community platform for players and Basketball fans, Lisbon City Council and the Marvila Parish Council. The court is already open to the community and inspired the new single for Sam The Kid’s return to the group that marked the beginning of his career, Official Nasty.
It all began in 1992, when Oliveira Donbell, better known as “Maninho”, arrived in Portugal from Angola and settled in Bairro dos Lóios. He brought with him the passion for Basketball, immortalized by the first hoop he hung on this court and the bull he painted on the ground, as a tribute to the legendary Michael Jordan team. Thus “Chicago” was born. This space quickly won over the local community and ended up becoming a meeting place for kids and adults to share their love of the game. It has been like this for years and generations and is still like this today.
Almost 30 years later, it was the success of the Enguardas Basketball Field, in Braga, with art by Contra, that triggered another Hoopers intervention. It all started with a phone call between the coach – Frederico Umbelina – and his former player – André Costa, founder of Hoopers. Other members of the local community quickly joined the team: Paulo Maposse, better known in the world of music as Daddy-O-Pop, rapper and partner of Sam The Kid in his first group: Official Nasty.
“After talking to Fred (Frederico) and the first visit to the spot, we quickly realized the enormous potential of this court, not only because of its location, but mainly because of the energy of its community. We found a generation of players teaching the love of the game to the younger ones: this is the essence of Hoopers and our community ”, explains André Costa, founder of Hoopers.
The artistic team invited to be part of this project was Halfstudio, the duo formed by Mariana Branco and Emanuel Barreira, who develop creative projects with lettering as the central element. The message behind their murals and urban art interventions is always inspired by the community where the piece of art takes place and, therefore, in the Lóios neighborhood court, it will be read the name by which “Maninho” baptized the court: Chicago.
The artistic intervention started on October 31st, the process of revitalizing the court mobilized the entire community, with the local commerce supplying some of the needed materials.
For more information:http://hoopers.club/