From my childhood days, I remember vividly how my friends and I would spend night after night practicing our double pump jams (albeit on a lower rim!) and watching the NBA Superstars 2 video featuring Dominique Wilkins highlight plays edited to Sheena Easton's "Manic Panic" over and over again.
The lyrics to that song are etched into my memory as a result and I had to fight terribly hard to contain my excitement when I met the legend in person and got to go behind the scenes at the NBA playoffs thanks to our friend Olivier who produced the #FollowThabo series for Swiss TV.
The series followed the Swiss Basketball sensation Thabo Sefolosha and his Atlanta Hawks team mates in the match up with the Washington Wizards. We got some amazing access to the locker rooms and the training sessions with the Hawks, so for someone who spent much of their childhood living and breathing the game of basketball, it was a truly incredible experience to be at the heart of the NBA playoffs. Everyone was incredibly friendly and professional and I was impressed by the level of organization for making these events happen; there are so many people behind the scenes. Whilst I was only present for the games themselves in DC, Olivier did a great job in bringing the series to life.
Over the years, making films and playing basketball have been two things that have defined my life so it was a dream come true to combine the two. The thing that was nicest for me, in addition to seeing the games from a unique and very privileged viewpoint, was that I saw how excited my kids got about basketball as a result. I watched how much they wanted to emulate the likes of today's stars like Dennis Schroder, John Wall and Bradley Beal, it reminded me of my own youth and wanting to play like the NBA stars of the early 90s.
WizHawks was a great series and whilst Thabo and the Hawks sadly didn't progress to round 2, the fans got to see some great basketball.
I (still) love this game.