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A photographer spent five years capturing basketball courts in the Philippines

While most countries in South East Asia love football, the Philippines has had an obsession with a different sport, one that speaks of their American colonial heritage: basketball.

In his series Basketball Courts in the Philippines, photographer Richard James Daniels explores the country’s passion for the game by documenting the backboards found throughout the 7,107-island archipelago.

“After a bit of research, it came as quite a shock to discover that basketball was introduced to the Philippines in 1900 – only 10 years after it was invented in America,” he said. “A decade later and the Philippines had won its first gold medal at the Far Eastern Games.”

Daniels has spent the last five years wandering the islands, looking for backboards made creatively from whatever materials and space are available. Some were constructed out of recycled wood, others hung on trees or walls. He’s even discovered basketball plays a big role in local politics.

“The local and regional politicians sponsor and advertise on backboards and also use dilapidated hoops as bargaining chips when elections come around, for instance – vote for me and I’ll buy you a new basketball hoop. That’s why there are quite a few hoop-less shots in my series and also backboards with politicians names painted on.”

Daniels hopes that the courts in his series – he’s captured over 200 – will look better in time, marking the improvement of the impoverished communities using them.

You can see more of Richard James Daniels and his photography on Instagram.

Basketball courts and hoops of the Philippines project #fineartphotography #fineart #fineartphotographer #contemporaryphotography #creativedirector #art #documentaryphotography #photoessay #bball #basketball #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #artconsulting #wallart #streetart #urbanart #hoops #hoopsworldwide #artcurator #artadviser #artgallery #photographie #artcontemporain #artcontemporary #bbalislife #streetphotography #streetartist #menswear #streetwear

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Basketball Courts of the Philipines project. #fineartphotography #fineart #fineartphotographer #contemporaryphotographer #contemporaryphotography #creativedirector #art #artconsulting #documentaryphotography #photoessay #bball #basketball #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #artconsulting #artconsultant #walldevor #wallart #streetart #urbanart #spalding #hoops #adidashoops #adidasbasketball #nikebasketball #photographie #artcontemporain #artcontemporary

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Basketball courts of the Philippines project. #fineartphotography #fineart #fineartphotographer #contemporaryphotographer #contemporaryphotography #creativedirector #art #artconsulting #documentaryphotography #photoessay #bball #basketball #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #artconsulting #artconsultant #wallart #streetart #urbanart #spalding #hoops #adidashoops #nikebasketball #photographie #artcontemporain #artcontemporainurbain

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Basketball Court Series. Philippines. #fineartphotography #fineart #fineartphotographer #contemporaryphotographer #contemporaryphotography #creativedirector #art #artconsulting #documentaryphotography #photoessay #bball #basketball #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #artconsulting #artconsultant #walldevor #wallart #streetart #urbanart #spalding #hoops

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Basketball Court Series. #nba #bball #bballislife #basketballcourts #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #lebron #fineartphotography #fineart #contemporaryphotography #documentaryphotography #basketball

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Basketball Court Project, Cebu, Philippines. #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #hoops #basketballcourts #bball #hoops #nba #documentaryphotography #contemporaryphotography #fineartphotography #photographie #fineart #urbanart #artcontemporain #streetart #artcontemporainurbain

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

A buffalo waiting for the inevitable at a provincial fiesta. part of a series on #filipino #culture @pinoyhoops @shootinghoops #basketball #basketballcourt #hoops #nba #nike #philippines #siargao #fiesta #travel #buffalo #caribou #buffaloes

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

420 X Turkey pen. Basketball Courts of the Philippines Project. #fineartphotography #fineart #fineartphotographer #contemporaryphotographer #contemporaryphotography #creativedirector #art #artconsulting #documentaryphotography #photoessay #bball #basketball #pinoyhoops #shootinghoops #artconsulting #artconsultant #walldevor #wallart #streetart #urbanart #spalding #hoops #nikebasketball #photographie #artcontemporain #artcontemporary #adidasbasketball #spaldingball

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

#basketball #basketballcourt #hoopdreams #hoops #philippines #cebu #pinoy #nba #nba2k16 #featureshootchildhood #reportagespotlight #everydayasia #everydayphilippines #documentaryphotography #childhoodeveryday

A photo posted by Richard James Daniels (@richard.james.daniels) on

Via Creative Boom

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

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