July 14, 2012 BY John Kim / 6
The Nike World Basketball Festival moved from the Barry Farm in the inner city to the DC Armory, situated adjacent to the original RFK Stadium. The grand space was transformed into an amazing exhibit, beginning with the showcase of Team USA’s uniforms and its members’ respective sneakers for the Games. Opposite the 2012 jerseys were those of the original Dream Team of 1992 and the collection of vintage Nike footwear like the Air Force 180, Air Ballistic Force, and Air Jordan VII, with another display of Nike’s most iconic footwear models of the last two decades acting as a divider between the two Olympic teams. Another interactive pop-up space with a Jordan Super.Fly exhibit and a Jordan Jumpman ‘green screen’ was also available to the public.
Upon entering the primary space of the Armory, a freshly constructed basketball court took center stage, and the crowd of locals and members of the Armed Forces quickly packed the bleachers to get the best seats. Coach Geno Auriemma and some of the women’s USA Basketball team such as Candace Parker, Swin Cash, and Maya Moore followed and led a basketball clinic on the court for local youths. At 11:00 AM, Team USA and Coach K came onto the court to raucous cheers and chants, putting on an unparalleled show of basketball acumen and discipline as they participated in a complete practice and workout – with Jay Bilas providing live commentary. A full-fledged scrimmage ended their workout and the competitive match-up between White and Blue went to OT, with the LeBron and Kobe-led White squad taking the W.
Finishing the Team USA showcase at the DC Armory was a special Hoops for Troops event with notable members of the Armed Forces, capped off a heart-warming ceremonial display of patriotism; standing opposite one on another, the military and Team USA came together at center court, and as a gesture of unity, those in uniform removed their American Flag patches from their uniforms and presented them to each Team USA Olympian. However massive the DC Armory, not another ounce of USA pride would fit into the room. The Nike World Basketball Festival covered the local flavor with the game at Barry Farm last night, then brought it to the national scale with the Team USA showcase in DC Armory. What could be next? Stay tuned to Sneaker News as we cover the remainder of the Nike World Basketball Festival!