Streetballer and hip-hop artist Dalyan Rangi-Dixon is a regular at the Victoria Park Spark Boroughs basketball court. Like many who head down for a game of 3X3 each evening, he’s passionate about the sport.
For him, the central Auckland court has provided a space to get active without really trying. After practicing 4-5 days a week, he’s learned to dunk for the first time since high school and has whipped himself into shape in the process.
We caught up with Dalyan to hear about his experience getting back into b-ball and connecting with his community along the way.
“Back in high school I could dunk but when I first came here I couldn't - so after that I just kept trying everyday - just trying to get up - and after a few weeks I finally did, it was such a buzz.
“When I heard they were making Spark Borough courts I was sold. I kinda gained weight before I started coming here, I was playing less sports and I had always loved basketball, so when I found a place that I could come every day to play ball I was just losing weight without even noticing it.
“At high school we’re so active without even realising it, you’re just moving all the time, playing sport all the time, so when I left I didn’t really have a place to channel all of that energy. I’m now under 100kg for the first time since year 7.
“At the courts I get to know people who play here, you kinda just see people and play with them and become homies without even thinking about it. It definitely has a cool community vibe and the people who use them have respect for them, especially because it’s a full-size court and not just a pole, hoop and backboard.
“I’ve left a couple of balls here and come back days later and they’ve still been here. There’s definitely a respect for the area.”