Simply British Ballers. (or better known as SBB.) have set out to create a community and culture for UK hoopers…. and by using social media and their positive vibes and humor, have gotten millions of views. Courts of the World talks to the two founders Denzel Kazembe and Behrad Bakhtiari about their drive to make it all happen.
“We didn’t actually start with a reason, it was towards the end of quarantine and we just wanted to get out to our local courts and finally hoop with people again. It just so happened that Behrad had a youtube channel about NBA 2k but he wanted to turn it into one for basketball away from the game which is when the idea of using tik tok to start that transition came up and that idea was rating basketball courts in the UK.” says the London-based startup about their beginnings.
The two have taken their court evaluations up several notches since starting with an overall rating system of nearby courts. Here the two drove more than two hours to find one of their more unique courts with a brick backboard (rating 2/10) in Oxfordshire, Wootton. Check out the full video evaluation here.
“We use your website courtsoftheworld.com a lot to find courts that may not have been recommended to us.” says the young and energetic crew that is just getting started finding and rating courts.
The two hoopers started on Tik Tok and have moved to Instagram and YouTube. “We made and posted our first three tik toks having never used the app before, left them for about half a day and when we checked we saw thousands of views and replies asking us to either come and check out their local court or people noticing that we had been to a court in their area. With this what we saw was hoopers from all over the country coming together in their love for basketball and we realised that it was something we had actually never seen before and it was happening for the first time in the comment sections of our videos.”
Both played on national teams, with Denzell playing for for NASSA (newham all-star sports academy) and Behrad for Kingston.
“The basketball community in the UK is mostly disconnected and divided between cities and then within those even more within those cities, for most people you would only know another hooper or even basketball court outside of your local area through word of mouth which means most people grow up either playing alone at their local court not knowing there’s one with a lot of people 10 minutes away or they just don’t go at all which is partly why a lot of them are in such a bad state. There is no platform that provides the opportunity for UK hoopers to connect, you’d be hard pressed to even find one popular youtube channel dedicated to it whereas in comparison a sport like football has hundreds. Therefore our goal is to bridge that divide all over the UK, spread awareness that we are here to our government and hopefully spread UK ball all over the world so that the generations below us can enjoy the game as it should be enjoyed.” says the two that started playing at 9 (Denzel) and 13 (Behrad) years old.
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