In his third blog from the Nike World Basketball Festival, MVP’s Jake Green witnesses some serious female streetballin’ at “The Cage” on West 4th.

I’d never been to the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, but it isn’t dissimilar to the Hackney Empire. A small and intimate venue that feels historical and exclusive.

In fact, Harlem and Hackney aren’t worlds apart in terms of diversity and culture – both are predominantly black neighbourhoods, confirmed as cool by hipster globe-trotting bohemians.

As a result I felt right at home – and sat back to enjoy the Nike Air Force One documentary, a history of the number one selling sneaker of all time. It was deep.

Now, when you’re talking basketball history, and more specifically streetball history – you automatically think of Rucker Park (which I’d already visited).

But on a trip to The Cage on West 4th, I witnessed true, hard and fast, no holds barred blacktop ballin’.

This was the sort of territory where you get bruised, cut and grazed if you’re anywhere near the action.

We saw some serious womans bball being played, check out our gallery for more images.

Anyway, having previously seen Jay-Z’s gritty performance at Radio City, not to mention a tonne of streetball on this trip, it was a nice change to catch some glossy arena action at Madison Square Garden.

With Thierry Henry, Tony Parker, Eva Longoria and Spike Lee all in the building, there was a real buzz of a Knicks competitive game.

But this was USA v France in what was the Americans’ final warm-up before hitting the World Champs in Turkey.

Seeing Kevin Durant, Team USA’s “best player” according to coach K, dunking in the flesh was powerful. In fact, the whole MSG experience was a stunning spectacle which really got me excited about the upcoming games at the O2.

Anyway…Alicia lied. After 6 days of non-stop bball celebrations and 24-hour living I was run down, not brand new. Nike had thrown one hell of a basketball party.

As the UK’s only specialist basketball magazine and leading bball website, MVP doesn’t have the broad selling power and influence of bigger lifestyle magazines, but it does appeal to the true, out-and-out baller. I think that’s why Nike invited us to join them in their celebration of the sport we love. I think they also share our vision of basketball in the UK. As the WBF slogan says ‘United We Rise’, and with more celebrations like this hopefully we will.

Apparently there is talk of the next basketball festival being held in London… Watch this space.

Big thanks to Simon and Gavin @ Nike for inviting us.

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