American basketball dazzled Addis at the Arat Killo gym when sixteen talented street ballers slam dunked their way into the hearts of spectators last Tuesday. “We are very proud to be associated with the And1 tour of East Africa and it gives us great pleasure to provide a refreshing platform upon which lovers of basketball can enjoy the live action of the undisputed kings of street balling,” said Raei Melesse, Coca Cola brand manager at a press conference held on Monday April 30, 2012 at Jupiter International Hotel.
Sprite Slam is a brand that celebrates the passion of basketball. Basketball allows people to express talent and individuality and the company believes that by reaching teens and young adults who enjoy street basketball they will build a lasting connection with them.
The Addis Ababa version of the And1 live East African Tour featured 16 leading talented street ballers who entertained basketball lovers with their extraordinary skills and phenomenal stunts against a spirited but clearly overmatched Ethiopian team. The And1 live street ball tour showcases a unique playground style of basketball that the youth of many cultures can relate to. The game that was held at Arat Killo gym attracted around 5,000 spectators and was the first of its kind for Ethiopia.
It was their very first visit to Ethiopia; the team mates expressed their excitement about showing their skills to their fans. Sprite also organized a free style Hip Hop concert on Monday April 30th 2012 at Club H20, where the And1 team was present.
The And1 live East African tour 2012 will be in six countries; Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and of course Ethiopia.
Street ball began over 20 years ago in a New York City playground; “The Rucker Park” which transformed the local basketball league in Harlem into one of the best playgrounds for hoops in the world. The And 1 player’s talents are known throughout the United States and have gained international attention in commercials and endorsements with Nike, ESPN and other major corporations. And1 has been touring competitively since 2000.
The tour is sponsored by Sprite Slam, the Coca Cola Company.