And the challenge’s friendly partners have also renewed their support to back the initiative at the grassroots.
At the launch of the challenge held at the basketball equipment retail outlet Hoops Station in Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur recently, Nestle Products sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong also sensed the eagerness of budding cagers as they anticipate the start of the challenge for the season.
Former Management Science University mates Lin Wai Kit and Mohd Taha Jelani indicated that they would continue to soak up the atmosphere and join in the fun in the men’s Under-25 category.
The duo emerged as two of the top three performers in the In Search of Freestylists’ contest last year.
The 24-year-old Taha, who is pursuing his second degree in law, said he had many unforgettable memories, including finishing top three in the freestyle category since participating in the challenge in 2009.
“I have been developing a close bond to stay connected with the challenge over the years. It was a pleasant surprise as I did not expect to be among the top three freestylists last year.
“Freestyling is a different ball game because it is unlike the conventional basketball focusing on fundamental skills. Freestyle allows us to express ourselves and attempt more tricky moves with the basic skills,” he added.
Meanwhile, sound engineer Wai Kit, who turns 25 in October, is also aiming to broaden his experience in his final season competing in the Under-25 group.
This season, the In Search of Streetballers will be replacing the In Search of Freestylists contest. And a maximum of three promising cagers will be selected as recipients of the award for each leg.
The Best Shooter and Slam Dunk contests are the two other side events included in the challenge for this year.
The hosts are also setting up stations for the NBA Beat X Box for participants and spectators to engage in the simulation games in-between matches during the challenge.
For the upcoming first leg, the hosts are throwing in a Kobe Bryant basketball each as a reward to the first 100 teams to sign up. And they can accommodate up to 300 teams in six categories for the upcoming first leg.
The five other age-groups are boys’ Under-13, boys’ Under-15, boys’ Under-18, girls’ Under-18 and men’s Under-21.
Following the opening leg, four other legs have been lined up at Sutera Mall, Johor (June 16), East Coast Mall in Kuantan, Pahang (July 6), Penang Times Square (Sept 14) and Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur (Oct 20).
AND1 STREETBALL CHALLENGE OPENING LEG
Venue: IOI Mall, Puchong
Date: April 28
Categories (six): Boys’ Under-13, Boys’ Under-15, Boys’ Under-18, Girls’ Under- 18, Men’s Under-21 and Men’s Under-25
Entry Fee: RM90 per team. Each player will receive a jersey and a ball for each team.
Closing Date: April 21
Prizes: Basketball products and goodies for the top four teams in each category.
- World of Sports
IOI Mall (03-8070 0664); Tropicana Mall (03-7728 0620); Subang Parade (03-5631 9578)
- World of Outdoor
The Gardens (03-2287 5930)
- Hoops Station
Lot 10 (03-2110 2398); Summit USJ (03- 8023 1229)
- Echo Park
Times Square (03-2144 0211); 1 Utama (03-8941 4211); Sunway Pyramid (03- 5638 1121)
- Infinity Sport House
The Mines (03-8944 2684)
- MVP Basketball Store
Klang (03-3081 3420)
- Official beverage: Milo
- Official media: StarMetro
- Official radio: One FM
- Sanctioned by: Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA)
Enquiries: 03-9173 1066; 012-358 5911 (Wong); 017-657 0082 (Ahmad)
*Sumber dari StarMetro