Everyone has their court. Mine was in my grandma’s driveway in Southwest Portland. It was a few feet wider than a basketball key and stretched well beyond an NBA three point line. 

The hoop was probably 9’3’ and sat on top of a cream colored, two-car garage. If anyone shot too far right or too far left, the ball would go bouncing over the garage and spit out onto a hillside full of blackberry bushes. I remember wincing as the brambles would hit my arm as I struggled to free the ball.

If a person went in for a layup too fast, they’d crash into the garage door. A shallow curb protecting the main house ran along the right side making for the perfect ankle roller. On the left stood five-foot tall bushes that would swallow people whole if they were fouled driving to the rim. 

For me, that court will always be where I learned to play. It was abusive to the point that I had a new Band Aid on my knees or elbows every week. It met very few actual basketball regulations. The court couldn’t handle more than two on two and the three point line was a jagged hairline crack running horizontally across the back of the driveway.


All photos on this site were taken by Shantanu Starick as he has been travelling the world for his latest project, Pixel Trade.