West Philly native, artist draws inspiration from Allen Iverson and street basketball culture

The makeshift basketball hoop is part of his collaboration with Reebok's "Courting Greatness" campaign.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A decorative wooden box made of plywood with three hoops has been brightening the corner of 2300 Frankford Avenue for the last week.

New York-based artist Gianni Lee says the inspiration for this art installation was his love for basketball that started in West Philadelphia

"When we were younger, we just found things that were in lots. So I wanted this to look like you would just find these pieces in a lot and make something out of it," said Lee.

The makeshift basketball hoop is part of his collaboration with Reebok's "Courting Greatness" campaign.



Inspired by Sixers legend Allen Iverson's career, the colors are from the uniforms of the various teams he played.

The materials of the artwork represent the street basketball culture against the backdrop of surging violence, which was just as much an issue during Lee's childhood as it is right now.

"There was a lot of violence going on in our communities and our parents would be like, 'You're not going off the block.' But we'd be like, 'Oh man but we want to go to the court,'" he recalled. "So we decided to just take crates and make our own games."

Lee hopes the installation will inspire others to create their own courts, wherever they live, even using Reebok's augmented reality app as he did.

"I would want kids to see the power of their own ingenuity, their own creativity, and how that can get them out of any situation that they may have gotten themselves into or been born into," said Lee.

He is hoping to inspire kids in the same neighborhoods he grew up in.

If you want to check out his art installation, do it soon! It comes down at the end of the week.

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